When it comes to pulled pork and bragging rights, Southern Illinois has more than its fair share of formiddable contestants. Some are disciples of the original famous Country Bob seasoning style, while others remain loyal to the world-renowned Mike Mills, whose famed Magic Dust has won him accolades ranging from Bon Appetit to Playboy.
Needless to say, folks around these parts take our barbecue quite seriously, and know that no matter how you slice it, every self-respecting ‘Q-ing recipe begins on a very personal note — with a definitive, signature pork rub.
Mine involves brown sugar. If you don’t like sweet barbecue, you may as well Google away right now ‘coz I live for it.
This seasoning recipe can be doubled, tripled, halved–whatever you need. You can make up a Mason jar of it at a time to have around the kitchen, or whip it up from scratch each time. (It takes less than 5 minutes of prep time, so it’s really up to you.)
The important thing to pay attention to is the “scale” you begin with because it’s easy to go off course and forget what you already measured. For a 3.5-lb. cut of pork, use a scale of 1/2 teaspoon = 1 part. I will include the scaled measurements for making a one-roast-sized batch in (parenthesis) following the “parts” measurements just so it’s easy to keep on track.
Of course, it should also be noted that I am one of those people who never uses measuring spoons for anything except maybe leaveners. So keep in mind these are eyeballed estimates and you don’t have to obsess over them or anything. Just helps to give an idea of proportion is all. 🙂
Ready? Okay. Let’s go.
Begin by measuring ONE PART EACH (1/2 teaspoon) of the following: ground mustard, red cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, rubbed sage, and ground cinnamon.
Add TWO PARTS EACH (1 teaspoon) of: onion powder, chili powder, ground paprika and garlic powder.
Mix in FOUR PARTS (2 TEAspoons) of regular old table salt.
Finally, add TWELVE PARTS (2 TABLEspoons) of brown sugar.
Stick your fingers in the bowl and scoop-mix the ingredients together until they form a uniform, dense mixture that crumbles easily to the touch but sticks together when scooped. This is most excellent packing texture.
If necessary, pat-dry any excess moisture from raw pork before you begin. Using fingers, begin packing rub mixture onto meat, being sure to work mixture into any small cuts or “flaps” in the raw meat.
If possible, let rubbed meat stand overnight in refrigerator.
*I also use this rub on pork roasts, so it is very easy to rub the roast after dinner one evening, stick it in a covered Crock Pot insert in the fridge all night, and then pop it into the slow-cooker in the morning. Dee-lish! You don’t even have to add a drop of water or liquid–just a dry rubbed roast in the Crock Pot does the trick just fine.