Our friend Joe, an aww shucks kind of guy, tried to convince us that his pulled pork might not be exceptional, as he spent most of last weekend preparing it.
But, the tantalizing smells wafting from my brother in-law’s bright green Weber Smokey Mountain told the truth.
I hovered helpfully, like an eager house dog, as he eventually pulled the giant pork shoulder apart with two plastic meat claws. Under the guise of photographer, I moved in closer.
“You can taste it,” he said as he handed me a small piece. “But I’m not sure it’s going to be any good.”
Distracted momentarily by the morsel’s tenderness, I paused as the flavor exploded in my mouth.
“Holy cats,” I said. “You don’t even need barbecue sauce for this!”
The cabin quickly filled with hungry guests and the giant pile of pulled pork disappeared (except for a plate someone may or may not have hidden in the back of the refrigerator).
Joe watched them all move through the food line, mumbling to each one, “I don’t know. This might not be any good.”
It was, of course, delicious.
Joe comes by both his down home humility and grill mastery honestly. The grandson of a ninth district police officer from St. Louis, Joe grew up among some serious barbecue chefs.
As he worked his magic this past weekend, his two young sons 10-year old Charlie and nine-year old Jack played nearby, a fourth generation of grill masters gently trained in the fine art of summer barbecue.
I don’t have a recipe — I think it’s innate. But, I do have a video, one of several I shot during the process. Some day, when I have time, I’ll edit them into a Cooking Network worthy episode. Here’s your teaser: