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Some Orella favorites

Guner posing with fresh pulled pork.

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Our favorite pulled pork recipe 

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Pulled Pork

Appropriate for a 4-7lb Butt/Shoulder cut

Step 1: The Pulled Pork Rub: Gather the following ingredients:

Dry Rub Ingredients

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp ground pepper

1 tbsp paprika

1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together well and store in an air tight container.

Step 2: The Pork Shoulder Brine

A brine solution gives this pulled pork recipe the extra moisture it needs for a long, slow cooking process so you don’t end up with tough, dried out meat.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Brine Solution Ingredients

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 qts cold water

3 tbsp dry rub mix

2 bay leaves

Add salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Then add the brown sugar and dry rub and stir well to combine.

Rinse the pork shoulder/butt in cold water and place in a  container big enough so the shoulder is completely covered in the pork shoulder brine solution (some use a Ziplock bag)

Carefully pour in the pork shoulder/butt brine solution.

And add in two dried bay leaves.

Refrigerate the pork shoulder in the brine for at least 12 hours. For this pulled pork recipe, 24-36 hours of brining time is best. I usually brine about 24 hours.

Step 3: Preparing the Pork Shoulder/Butt

After the pork shoulder has finished brining, preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, 225 degrees, that is not a typo! We cook the meat “low and slow” in this pulled pork recipe. If you have a smoker that is the best!  Remove the pork shoulder/butt from the brine solution and place in the roasting pan.

Pat the skin dry with paper towels so you’ll get a nice, crisp crust.

Generously, generously, cover the WHOLE pork shoulder in your dry rub mix and massage the dry rub mix into the skin really well. Be sure and get it up under any flaps you may come across.

Make sure the fat layer is facing UP and stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone.

Place uncovered in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven on the middle rack.

200 degrees internal temp is the magic number!

Set the alarm on the thermometer for 200 degrees. For this pulled pork recipe, we don’t want to take the pulled pork out of the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches at least 200 degrees. 

 The pork is finished to the point of being sliceable at 170 degrees, but to get that tender, falling apart, melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork, the ideal internal temperature should reach at least 200 degrees. The pulled pork is still just as tender, juicy and flavorful because you brined it first. 

Planning Ahead

An 8 pound pork shoulder can take 13 hours to reach 200 degrees. Your shoulder will reach 170-180 very quickly, but those last 20 degrees will take much longer. 

Here’s a suggestion… Two days before I want to serve this, I prepare the brine solution and let the shoulder brine over night and all day the next day in the fridge. That night right before bed, I season the shoulder with the dry rub and put it in the oven and let it cook overnight. Even a small shoulder will take at least 10 hours to cook, so you don’t have to worry about the alarm waking you up the next morning.

Check Your Oven!

Some ovens automatically turn off after 12 hours. Note the time you put the shoulder in the oven, and you may want to set an alarm to alert you 12 hours later so you can check and make sure your oven is still on. A large shoulder could easily take 13-16 hours to cook with this pulled pork recipe. That's why smokers are so nice. 

When the thermometer alarm goes off and the pork shoulder has reached 200 degrees, turn off the oven and let the pork shoulder rest for about 2 hours before removing from the oven. Turn off the alarm, but keep the thermometer in the meat, so you can monitor the temperature. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the resting period.

After a couple hours, when the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove the pork shoulder from the oven.  (This doesn't have to be exact of course,  If you made it this far your good!)

 Using two large forks, begin pulling the pork shoulder apart. It will fall apart very easily and it should not take you long at all to pull apart the entire pork shoulder.

This is the real deal. 

The inside will be fall-off-the-bone tender, and the outside will have a deliciously seasoned crispy crust.  Enjoy! Your welcome. 


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Dry Rub for Ribs

Appropriate for 2-3 racks of ribs

Ingredients. 2 teaspoons black pepper. 2 teaspoons smoked paprika. 1 teaspoon garlic powder. 1 teaspoon onion powder. 1 teaspoon ground mustard. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. 1/2 teaspoon celery salt. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Recipe: Mix dry rub ingredients.  Brine the ribs the night before (optional -learn more about brining below).  Add a small amount of the rub into the brine.

Pat ribs dry and cover in rub.  Cook (Bbq, oven or smoker). Cook to at least 150 degrees internal temperature but for ribs up to 180 is preferred.

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To brine or not to brine

What is a brine? In the simplest term, it’s salt water. But doesn’t salt dry things out? Normally it does, but in this case, it does the exact opposite. See, the salt forces water out of the salt water solution and in a situation when that solution surrounds a piece of meat, the only place for the liquid to go is into the meat. So it makes meat juicier. Salt water also breaks down connective tissue and thus makes meat more tender.  Add seasoning to the water or use a different liquid altogether  (pumpkin ale, or apple cider?) and this equals flavor.  Brining moisturizes, tenderizes and flavorizes meat.

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Dry Rub for Chicken

1/4 cup paprika, smoked or sweet
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons granulated garlic
3 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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Scotch Eggs

Gaviota Givings Pork Breakfast sausage

This recipe uses 1/4lb pound Gaviota Givnigs breakfast sausage per egg or 1lb package for 4 eggs.

Start by steaming 4 eggs:

-1/2"water in bottom of pan, bring to boil and carefeully place 4 eggs in.  Cover with good lid and reduce heat to medium high.  After 6 minutes cool eggs is cold water and let cool.  Peel and set aside.

Prepare breading material:

-1/2 cup flour

- whisk 2 eggs in a bowl

- 1 cup Panko or bread crumbs of choice

Sausage the eggs:

-make  thin sausage patties (using wet hands helps here) and gently encase the whole egg in an even layer of breakfast sausage within your hands.

-roll in flour, then egg batter then in Panko

Fry in oil:

- gently place in heated oil (350 degree is best).  We like using a "wok" style pan.

Fry for 6 minutes turning often to get a good even browning if not fully submerged in oil.

Let cool 5 minutes then cut length wise.  Serve over your choice of greens and with a mayo, dijon, cayenne aioli dip/sauce 

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The story of Lard

Lard is healthy!

In recent generations, lard has seemed to completely disappear from home kitchens. Until the early 1900’s, lard was a staple cooking fat across the globe. It was the secret to perfectly flaky pie pastry, crispy fried chicken, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits and luscious gravy.

Now, when people hear the term lard, they immediately conjure up a vision of clogged arteries. It’s time to set the record straight – lard is a healthy cooking fat and deserves to make a comeback in kitchens everywhere.

1. Lard is heat stable

lard is healthyWhen it comes to determining the stability of a fat, it’s all about chemistry. Saturated fats have single bonds between all the carbon molecules of the fatty acid chain and are therefore the most heat-stable. That’s because single bonds, when it comes to the fatty acid carbon chain, are relatively difficult to break. Monounsaturated fats have one double bond replacing a single bond in the carbon chain. Double bonds in fatty acids are unstable and can break with heat. Polyunsaturated fats are the most unstable, because they have numerous double bonds in the carbon chain. When the double bonds in mono- or polyunsaturated fats break, the fatty acid undergoes a process called oxidation.

Why are oxidized fats bad? In a nutshell, oxidized fats = free radicals. Free radicals = cell damage. While we inevitably have some free radicals in our body, we should minimize these damaging molecules as much as possible to protect health and reduce inflammation.

According to Mary Enig, author of Know Your Fats, lard is typically 40% saturated fat, 50% monounsaturated fat and 10% polyunsaturated fat. (Pastured hogs consuming a diet supplemented with grain or coconut will have a lower percentage of polyunsaturated fat – a good thing!). The percentage of saturated fat in lard protects the more vulnerable mono/polyunsaturated fats from oxidizing with heat, making lard an excellent choice for cooking and baking.

2. Lard is heart-healthy

“Lard is an animal fat, and it is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Doesn’t that mean it raises my risk for heart disease?” The pervasive myth that animal fats increase the risk of heart disease is just that – a myth. Our great-great-grandparents consumed lard and butter and experienced extremely low rates of heart disease. Lard is part of a healthy diet and will not give you heart attack:

An analysis of more than 300,000 people published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that there is no evidence that saturated fat consumption raises the risk of heart disease (1)

A low fat diet has been shown to increase triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease (2)

The Women’s Health Initiative studied nearly 50,000 post-menopausal women – one group of women were told to follow a low fat diet, and the other group continued to eat “normally.” After 8 years, there was no difference in the rate of heart disease or cancer between the groups. (3)

Numerous other large studies have found no benefit to a low fat diet (4)

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