Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dr. Pepper Chipotle Smoked Pork Butt

I know. The title just says it all, doesn’t it?

Next week, I am attending a weekend working meeting for a new startup I am participating in. The meeting begins on Friday night, after all of us finish our regular jobs. We will plow through ideas and brilliance all weekend.

But first, we have to eat on the Friday night.

They all turned to me and said, “Rick, can you whip something up? Do something with your smoker…”

And so it will be.

In thinking through what I wanted to do with pork, I was reminded of the great go together taste today when I was at Chipotle. Yes, the fast food chain Mexican restaurant. I am not going to lie. I visit there every 2-3 weeks. I like being able to create a relatively healthy dinner out of their meats and salad.

But one of my favorite ingredients in dousing layers chipotle tabasco sauce. Chipotle is smoked chili pepper made from a smoke-dried jalapeño. The Tabasco brand combines it with vinegar to give you a tangy smokey flavor that I often apply to a lot of foods with I want to kick it up.

And so, with the idea of chipotle tabasco, I begin to think about what I could do with pork. Or specifically, port butt – which isn’t actually a but at all, but really the shoulder of the pig.

And then I remembered a marinate that I tried years ago, using Dr. Pepper.

I went out on to the internet to get inspired. I stumbled across the website of Ree. I just have to share with you a few bite of her wisdom. Ree goes by “the pioneer woman.” She describes herself as a “desperate housewife….living in the country.” She says she channels Lucille all, Vivien Leigh and Ethel Merman.”

What I especially love is the slogan in her web title, “Plowing through life in the country – one calf nut at a time.”

Now that is my kind of pioneer women. She must surely be back from my neck of the woods in Kansas or Nebrask or something where up ther in those colder countries…

Ree cooked a pulled pork shoulder with Dr. Pepper in a smoker. I will do the same, but add to it a brine and a glaze of Dr. Pepper and Chipotle.

My motivation is to cook something pedestrian, yet tasty for a finicky group of California entrepreneurs. Here is what Ree said when she was cooking her port butt:

First of all: pork butt. It isn’t a pork butt at all, but a pork shoulder. Second, it’s just a wonderful cut of meat. It cooks up moist and tender and results in so much meat, you can either feed a crowd or stretch the meat into at least two or three different meals for your fam damily. Third, I loved Johnny Johnson in fifth grade and he didn’t love me back. And finally, this fun and sweet/spicy concoction of Dr Pepper and chipotle peppers really did turn out to be a lovely combination.If you haven’t ever tried it, cook up a pork shoulder sometime soon. You’ll be amazed at how much you can do with the stuff.”

Oh what happens to gilted Midwestern gals when they didn’t get to kiss their 11 year old crushes? Do they end up on farms, homeschooling and making up witty remarks? Ree – if you ever find this, I am glad you are doing what you are doing. And thanks for the inspiration.

(You can see more of Ree and her writing and recipes at:
Here are the ingredients I will start with. I will update you in about 10 days in how it all turned out! (And let me know if you want a copy of my finished recipe!)

1 comment:

  1. Excited to hear about the result! And curious: what sides do you plan to serve?