Wider Horizons

If you’re looking for a recipe that hits the spot in the heat of summer or chilliest days of winter, Chef Mark Dieser, the college’s manager of Food Services and Culinary, has the perfect suggestion.

This savoury pulled pork recipe works well on the barbeque in the summer, especially if you add some smoldering smoke chips to give it even more flavour.  But there’s also nothing better to come home to in the winter than this dinner when it’s been in your slow cooker all day. And it works just as well in your oven, too.

 Chef Mark says if you want a little more heat and zip, you can add more cayenne pepper to the spice rub. One trick he suggests is, if you are cooking your pork in the oven, try “mopping” the roast every hour with a mix of apple juice, cider vinegar and jalapeno juice liquid for even more bite. One last suggestion from the chef? Serve this with coleslaw to cut the heat, baked beans and your favourite beverage. Bon appetit!



For the brine

1 gallon            water  

¾ cup               kosher salt       

2/3 cup             sugar

¾ cup               soy sauce

¼ cup               olive oil

4 pounds          boneless pork leg roast

For the rub

2 tbsp               paprika

2 tbsp               light brown sugar         

1 tbsp               chili powder     

1 tbsp               kosher salt       

1 tbsp               cracked black pepper   

2 tsp                 granulated garlic          

2 tsp                 granulated onion         

1 tsp                 cumin  

For the pulled pork

2 tsp                 canola oil         

1 sprig              fresh thyme or rosemary

1                      minced shallot

1                      juiced lemon


For the brine

  1. Bring the water to a boil and dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the soy sauce and olive oil and cool to room temperature. Put the pork roast into a large container, cover with the brine and put into the refrigerator overnight. 

For the rub

  1. Measure the eight spices into a bowl and whisk to combine. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

For the pulled pork

  1. Remove the roast from the brine. Brush all over with oil and lemon juice. Rub the outside of the roast with the spice rub.
  2. Get out your slow cooker, preheat your oven to 300°F OR preheat your grill to high heat.
  3. In a hot pan on the stovetop or on the hot BBQ, sear the outside of the roast, until it is brown and crisp.
  4. After you finish searing the roast, you have three options:

Option 1. Place it in a crock pot on low on an eight-hour setting.

Option 2. Place it in a roasting pan in the oven at 275°F for five hours. Make sure you have a tight lid or cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Option 3. Place it on indirect heat on your grill, trying to maintain about 300°F. Place a smoke chip pouch in the grill to create that smoky flavour. There are many options online that describe how to create your own smoke chip pouch. Whichever method you use, ensure pork is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

  1. Remove the pork from the crock pot, oven or grill, and let stand for 10 minutes. Pull apart with two large forks. Serve on a fresh bun.
  2. For a tasty finishing touch, take your favourite barbeque sauce and pour it over the pulled pork.
  3. Enjoy!
Wider Horizons
Story by Lisa Kozleski | Photos by Rob Olson
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