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Canned Man Food

Cook it for now, can it for later.

I am not a sports fan. I had a brief flirtation with the excitement of professional sports last October when my home team won the World Series, but by and large sporting events just don’t make my radar. But there’s some kind of big football event coming up, I hear?

I don’t know thing one about football, other than that it’s a great incentive to break out the hearty, bold man foods. And my favorite man food is pulled pork.

This is something we make pretty often, but it is a bit of a chore. Between the roasting, cooling and shredding of the meat, it’s not exactly something you whip out on a Tuesday evening.

As with most labor-intensive foods, you might as well go big or go home. If you’re going to invest the better part of a day making something, go ahead and make a metric ton of it, then put it up for later. Yes, you heard me: You can can meat.

You’ll need a pressure canner for this. (But that’s fine since you got one to can your tomatoes last summer, right? RIGHT?) Meats are low-acid foods, and even though the sauce is fairly acidic, it’s not safe to can meats with the water bath method. Bonus: the secondary cooking in the high heat of the pressure canner further breaks down the connective tissues in the meat, rendering it softer and silkier than you can get from just a simple roast.

Sure, it adds an extra layer of labor to the whole process, but you’ll have jars of delicious pulled pork to pull from the pantry for many sporting events to come. Whatever they are.

Pulled Pork with Carolina-style BBQ Sauce
Recipe reprinted with permission from
 The Fresh Girl’s Guide to Easy Canning and Preserving by Ana Micka, published by Voyageur Press.  Books can be found at bookstores and online booksellers and from voyageurpress.com.

Makes 3 pints

Tomato Barbecue Sauce
1 lb tomatoes, skins and seeds removed, crushed
1 c. Worcester sauce
1 c. apple juice
1 c. pineapple juice
1 c. brown sugar

Pulled Pork
3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
1-1/4 c. cider vinegar, divided
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 peppercorns

Stir together all the BBQ sauce ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Place pork in a large stockpot. Cover with water. Add 3/4 c. of vinegar, onion, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered. Skim froth and add water as needed. Cook for 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Transfer pork to a rack in a roasting pan. Pour 1/3 c. vinegar over pork. Roast 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let stand until cool enough to handle.

Reheat BBQ sauce.

Pull pork into shreds.  Place into hot, sterilized pint jars. Ladle sauce over the top to fill the jar and fully cover thte meat. Leave a 1″ headspace. 

Process, following your canner’s instructions, for 75 minutes in a pressure canner at pressure listed for your altitude.

More from Sean and Punk Domestics:
East Meets West: Yuzu Kosho
Rany’s Tomato-Meyer Lemon Chutney
Pompelmocello
Cranberryless Sauce
Apple Habanero Jelly
Pear Butter
Zucchine Sott’Olio
Fig Jam with Fennel Pollen
Canning Tomatoes

Sean Timberlake is a professional writer, amateur foodie, avid traveler and all-around bon vivant. He is the founder of Punk Domestics, a content and community site for DIY food enthusiasts, and has penned the blog Hedonia since 2006. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, DPaul Brown, and their hyperactive terrier, Reese.

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