Pulled beef, pork, or chicken can serve as a menu staple if it’s prepared correctly. In the U.S. South, pork is usually cooked all day on large, barrel-shaped grills. When the meat is ready, people at cookouts and parties line up to take turns pulling their own servings of freshly cooked pork — if you are invited to a Pig Picking in North Carolina, that’s what you can expect.
It’s also pretty easy to cook meat for pulling with a slow cooker, as long as you don’t choose a cut of meat that’s too large.
But what do you do if the weather is nasty? What if you don’t live in a place where you can barbecue or you don’t own a slow cooker?
Winkler’s method is easy but takes time, like all good pulled meat recipes. You don’t need a grill or a slow cooker — your oven will do just fine.
Here’s Winkler’s recipe for Smokey Pulled Beef: first, get a good-sized cut of beef. Winkler’s example was labeled “Pulled Beef,” but neck meat or ribs will do fine, Winkler says.
Next, you’re going to combine ingredients to make a dry rub. Winkler combined brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes.
With all the ingredients combined, shake them up to mix thoroughly.
Next, pat the meat dry to remove any surface moisture. Put mustard on all sides, top, and bottom, and spread it around to cover the entire piece of meat.
With the mustard spread, then apply the rub mixture and literally rub it into all surfaces of the meat.
Now you’re going to let the meat with the rub cool for a while to let the seasoning take hold. Wrap it in plastic film, and then put it in a refrigerator for 4-12 hours.
Preheat your oven to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating, fill a roasting tray with hot water, add a rack, remove the plastic wrap from the meat, and put it on top of the rack.
Put the meat on the rack into the preheated oven and cook for about 12 hours. The meat is done when a thermometer inserted reaches 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the meat is cooked, remove it from the oven, take it off the rack, and wrap it in aluminum foil and let it set for an hour.
After the hour is up, unwrap the meat, put it in a tray or large plate and use two forks to pull the meat apart.
You can serve the pulled meat in many ways. It’s great for burritos, fajitas, and tacos, Winkler says? You can also just put a serving of the pulled meat in a bun or roll eat it just as it is.
Winkler usually works with BBQs, but he delivered with this recipe for Smoked Pulled Beef. You have to take the time for each step, but if you do the results will be worth it.