1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespooon Piment d’Espelette or cayenne pepper
4 cups wood chips, for smoking, soaked in water
Mama’s BBQ Sauce, for serving (recipe below)
Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Combine the sugar, paprika, salt, garlic salt, black pepper, and Piment d’Espelette.
Rub the meat with the oil and then rub liberally with the spice blend. Leave at room temperature for 45 minutes.
Set the grill for indirect cooking at 275°F using wood chips for flavor. (I use Jack Daniels bourbon barrel staves. Cherry and hickory would be good, but stay away from mesquite.) For the chips, soak them in water for at least an hour. Then, wrap them in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the foil-wrapped chips on the coals. (Soaked hunks are better for the full butt long cooking times, but soaked chips in foil worked fine for the half butt.)
Next, place the butt in the cooker and cook until the internal temperature is 165°F; this should take about 5 hours. Check it often, you want to keep the cooker temperature somewhere between 200°F and 275°F, preferably 250°F. This can be somewhat challenging, but the goal is low and slow. Then, remove the hunk of meat and wrap it in a double layer of foil. Return it to the grill and cook until desired doneness: for sliced pork, cook until the internal temperature reaches 180°, and for pulled pork, 190°. This will take another 2 to 3 hours.
Remove the meat to a cutting board with a moat. Cover it with foil and let it rest for about 20 to 30 minutes. Wrap it up and give it a rest. (The temperature will continue to rise.)
Chop with a chef’s knife, or shred the meat using a pair of tongs, discarding the fat and bones. The meat should fall apart and have a pink, smoky ring.
Place the meat in a bowl and add sauce to taste. Mix well and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Enjoy, slowly.
Mama's Barbecue Sauce
Makes about 6 1/2 cups
There has seldom been a time in my life when a mason jar of this sauce wasn’t in a corner of my mother or grandmother’s refrigerator. The truth of the matter is, once you have had homemade barbecue sauce, you will go off the store-bought kind for good.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, very finely chopped
2 1/2 cups ketchup
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and simmer until soft and melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, brown sugar, lemon juice, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until flavors have smoothed and mellowed, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.