One of my favorite meals to cook for backyard parties during summer is a slow-roasted pork shoulder crusted in homemade dry rub. While you’re outside enjoying the weather with friends and family, your meal can be slowly cooking in the oven all day long–and ready to be served when you get home. In this video, I demonstrate techniques for getting the perfect tenderness and moistness in your cut of meat, as well as talk about the key ingredients necessary for creating your own dry rub recipe. As long as you start with a base of equal parts sugar and salt, some dry mustard and paprika, the remaining ingredients are really up to the chef’s imagination. One of my go-to dry rub recipes is included below. (Updated 6/2013: Watch my how to video on making a dry rub base and three ethnic spice rub blends, which includes recipes too.) I love drying my own ancho chilis and using them in rubs because the cherry fruit flavors in 2008 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon really bring out a fruit nuance in the chili.
If feeling really creative, you can dehydrate your own chilis and garlic for dry rubs. It’s actually quite easy to do; I wrote a story last year entitled, “The Modernist Kitchen,” about preserving fruits, herbs, vegetables and spices through all seasons by dehydrating them. Once chilis and garlic slices are dried, I grind them into a powder using either a mortal and pestle (as demonstrated in the video) or a repurposed coffee grinder. I have three small coffee grinders each with a designated use: one is for chilies, one for spices and one for peppercorns, which we grind daily. Both Braun and Krups make inexpensive and capable grinders.
Read about some of my favorite exotic spices for including in dry rubs in the 2012 edition of Estate Tales.
Summary: This dry rub can be easily adjusted to your family’s tastes and is sure to be handed down from generation to generation. Executive Chef Todd Knoll adds ancho chili to complement the fruit flavors in the 2008 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 hours
Number of servings (yield): 10
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