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RECIPE: BBQ Pork Shoulder

October 9, 2020

One of my favorite southern foods is BBQ, especially North Carolina style with the vinegar-based sauce. I love the combination of rich meat flavor with the spicy vinegar zing. And I was completely astonished at how simple it is to do at home!


Pasture Raised Pork Shoulder roast ~ 4-lb
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp oil
5c liquid (any mix of water, broth, and wine will do)

Vinegar-based BBQ sauce

1 c apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper (to taste)


  1. Thaw meat and season liberally with salt and pepper. 
  2. Sear meat by heating oil in a skillet or dutch oven over medium heat--> Click to view searing how-to video
  3. Place the meat into the cooking vessel, add liquid
  4. This cut needs to cook low and slow, so there are several options:
    Crock pot- cook for ~8 hrs on high
    Pressure cooker- cook on high for 1 hr
    Oven- cook covered for 5-6 hrs at 250°F
    Regardless of heat source, the cooking vessel should have a good lid so that the hot steam stays inside. The goal is that the meat should be falling off the bone, fork tender when done.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool to safe handling temperature while still sealed in cooking vessel.
  6. Remove meat from bone and chop it into the traditional BBQ mash of small pieces. 
  7. Make up the sauce by combining the vinegar and other ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar and mixing well.
  8. We use the left over “pot liquor” to cook up collard greens for a real southern style feast. This can be done on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker (high pressure, one minute).
Sarah Hayes

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