Sunday, May 6, 2012

Slow Smoked Pork Shoulder with a Barbecue Rag Sauce

Hello friends.  Today we are going a little off script.  No photos, no wine pairing (although I will offer some suggestions).  Yesterday, Chef Sue smoked a pork shoulder basted with a barbecue rag sauce that was absolutely heavenly.  Although we did not intend this as one of our normal wine pairings (and therefore no photos and no wine pairing assessment), the smoked pork shoulder was just too good to keep to myself.

If you decide to try this preparation, there are a number of wines that I would recommend.  Here is my list of potentially good choices:
  • Pinot Noir
  • A red Bordeaux or a Bordeaux style blend
  • Syrah/Shiraz
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc

  • 1 bone-in Pork shoulder
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper for rag sauce
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning the pork shoulder

  1. Preheat smoker to 200-225 degrees
  2. Generously season pork shoulder with salt and pepper and place in smoker.
  3. Combine all non-pork ingredients to make a basting sauce also known as a rag sauce (the masters of BBQ often apply their basting sauce with a new clean rag mop or kitchen rag – hence a rag sauce).
  4. Every half hour, brush basting sauce over the pork shoulder with a basting brush or your choice of clean rag.
  5. Continue cooking in smoker until you reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees.  Plan on approximately one hour per pound.
  6. Allow pork shoulder to rest, covered with a towel, for ½ hour.
  7. Serve with any leftover rag sauce on the side.
In vino veritas, buen provecho.



  1. All right, m'man. Ji and I just started discussing the food summer in DC brings, not the least of which is your and Chef Sue's magic. Counting days.


    1. John, can't wait to have you, Ji and Ella back in town. I'm guessing you would enjoy our plans for this evening. Goan fish curry and my attempt to conquer naan. Without a tandori oven, the naan will be a compromise, but I am dedicated! Before you leave Ethiopia, be sure to grab all the local recipes you can!