This last month in the Persian Gulf has given me a lot of time to think. While deep subjects do sneak in there now and then, I like to try to keep it light. Lately I have been thinking about one of my favorite things in the whole world and probably a favorite to my Muslim friends in the region (besides alcohol and Jenna Jamison skin flicks)…PORK. Seriously, I don’t see how Muslims or anyone could take issue with the other white meat when it tastes the way it does. How can anyone turn down a rasher of bacon, an Italian hero, sausage, ribs or a pepperoni pizza. Someone once told me that if I went to a slaughter house and saw what they did I wouldn’t like pork anymore. 1st of all if I spent a few minutes behind the soda and milkshake machines at Mc Donald’s and saw what little Timmy does to the burgers I probably wouldn’t eat there anymore either. And second, what the hell would I be doing in slaughter house.


During cargo operations I usually strike up conversations with the longshoreman’s foreman and the subject of pork usually comes up. Everyone has sworn up and down that they have never tasted pork in their life. I just can’t believe it, I went to high school with a few Mormons and they were supposed to refrain from drinking caffeinated soda, alcohol and pre-marital sex. I won’t say any names but I knew a few that were habitual offenders of all four….and more. I guess the promise of 99 virgins beats out the smell of bacon sizzling in the other room but the way I see it, these guys are too old to be chasing around virgins so just eat the double stuffed BMT and be happy with the few virgins you had in your younger days. They are pretty strict over here and in Saudi Arabia if customs comes aboard the ship and finds any nudity in your room (even Maxim Magazine) you and the vessel will be fined. I am just happy they don’t do a pork search of the galley.


All of this talk of pork brings me to one of the last things I made before I left for the gulf, Pulled Pork Sandwich. For years I had been making pulled pork that was pretty damn good but it just wasn’t authentic because I was making it in a crock pot. It was tender and cooked in the crock pot for 6-8 hours in a homemade sauce and its only drawback was it usually came out a bit watery.


I finally decided to step my game up and smoke a pork butt (not really the butt you pervert) rather than crock pot it. Like the ribs I left home in a rush and never got a chance to post the recipe so you will just have to settle for the pictures. This may be for the best anyway, this came out so good it may make me famous someday and the The Colonel didn’t get famous by going around Kentucky and telling everyone what his eleven secret herbs and spices are now did he?


The first step was to make the rub which holds the secret spices (you can use your favorite store brand) and rub the butt down liberally….I said “rub the but down liberally ha-ha”. Then I let it sit in the refrigerator for about 12-24 hours. I used charcoal with hickory wood chips to impart the smoke. I soak the chips for 30mins then make packets from tin foil with the chips inside, punching holes in the tin with a fork. You want an indirect heat so you can slow cook this large piece of meat and not over char the outside. This just means not having the coals directly under the meat.


When I put meat on the grill I topped it with a layer of bacon. I figured this would help it hold in moisture and mostly just another way to feed my pork addiction. After about 3 hours I took the bacon off and ate it then wrapped the meat in tin foil for the rest of the way (I did this so it would retain its moisture.) Every hour I changed the woodchip packet and mopped the pork with an apple cider mixture. This whole process is pretty labor intensive because you are constantly tending the coals to keep the desired temperature (250-300F). The whole cooking process took 7-8 hours and I went to through a few Miller High Lifes in the process. Its done when you can pull the meat apart with two forks.


I made two types of sauce, a standard red and North Carolina vinegar and both came out excellent, now the trick is trying to remember the changes I made to the recipes I used. I can’t wait to get home and try this again and prove to myself that it wasn’t a fluke and can be repeated. Until then I will continue to try to talk some of these Muslim pork lovers to come out of the closet and confess their love for pork. I just hope Al-quaeda doesn’t consider my work bad enough to declare Jihad.


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Categories: Meat


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  1. November 24, 2009 at 2:37 am #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Your food photos are absolutely gorgeous and definitely make me hungry. I too agree about the taste of pork, but I wrote an inflammatory post arguing against the consumption pork on my other blog a few months back just to stir things up! I DO have to LIVE here in Saudi Arabia, ya know!

  2. November 24, 2009 at 4:02 am #

    For us , muslims , it’s not really worth it. And we are disgusted by the fact that the swine is laying around in mud all their life, thats not really something I would want to put in my system. For me it makes logical sense to not eat pork chops , ham , and whatever else you guys eat. We do eat sausage and pepperoni and bacon too but its usually made from beef.

    • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
      November 24, 2009 at 10:35 am #

      hey fahad
      while i respect the choice I guess i just dont understand it. sure a pig will lay around in mud if thats what you give em to lay around in. hey will also lay around on a couch if you let em. Other animals that we consume eat their crap….they are animals. thanks for stopping by.

      • Michele
        November 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

        I have a friend who stopped eating tilapia (a fish) after she saw them eating hippo poop at the zoo.

        All animals lie around in mud.

        By the way … the pulled pork looks delicious!

      • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
        November 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

        Hi Michele,
        what in the world was tilapia doing aroud hippo poop haha. Thanks for stopping in.

      • Michele
        November 25, 2009 at 2:47 am #

        The Calgary Zoo has a hippo tank with clear sides so that you can watch the hippo swim around. The tank has tilapia in it as well and they eat the hippo poop.

        I try to not think about what my food might have eaten as it’s last meal. Cook well and everything is good.

      • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
        November 25, 2009 at 4:30 am #

        ignorance is bliss

    • Michele
      November 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

      Bacon is pork.

      Forming a meat into strips and dyeing it to look like bacon does not make it bacon.

      If it’s not pork, it’s not bacon.

      • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
        November 24, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

        I like your style haha

  3. November 24, 2009 at 8:44 am #

    pork itself is rich. if i eat too much of it, i feel like puking. muslims refrain from it because, pigs eat too much of all kinds of rubbish, even poo. in reality the meat is highly infested with worms and stuff, try out putting some soda on it, you’ll see the worms coming out of it……………………

    • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
      November 24, 2009 at 10:28 am #

      hey bd,
      if i eat too much of anything i feel like puking. what about things that live in the sea and eat other fishes poo and everything else it can of the bottom (ie shrimp, catfish). and a piggy piggy isnt the only animal we consume that will hang in filth if its allowed to. thanks for stopping in and your comments.

  4. alyaba
    November 24, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    I just want to add that the true reason that muslims don’t eat pork is because its forbidden, we can all come up with what ever reasons about how its dirty and has worms and this and that but in the end there are certain things in islam that are forbidden, some for reasons we know others only god know. eating pork is one of them, we also don’t eat dead animals or animals with fangs such as lions, of however you can eat what ever you need if nothing else is available and eating it is necessary to survive.

    Dont forget hindus are forbidden to eat beef so they are in a similar situation where they don’t eat a certain animal for religious reasons.

    Btw in saudi you can get bacon on your burger and you can get pepperoni on your pizza its just not made from pork.

    i don’t want to offend you so please don’t take this the wrong way but your 99 virgins comment might get a giggle or two from the uninformed but to the rest of us it just shows how little you actually know.

    • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
      November 25, 2009 at 12:43 am #

      thanks for dropping in and thanks for your comments. Rules are rules and I do understand that different religions forbid different things. There are plenty things about all religions that i find silly and strange but since I am in the middle east pork and muslims comes up the most (and i love the piggy piggy) but beef pepperoni does not count as pepperoni it is awful.
      I take no offense to your last comment because I will openly admit I am uninformed and do try to get a giggle from the uninformed because life is too short to not giggle. Thanks again for stopping in and come back as I am sure I will wage battle against Hindis and find out why the are hatin on Rib-Eyes

      • alyaba
        November 25, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

        i have had beef pepperoni on pizza before and it was good, actually every single pizza i ever ordered in saudi probably was a pepperoni pizza and i never thought it tasted bad no matter where i ordered it from, however i never had real pepperoni other than when i first came to the US and didn’t know that pepperoni was pork i was about a bite into my pizza until someone told me. tasted the same to me.

        correct me if im wrong but don’t you need a certain type of spices to make pepperoni, i would guess theres probably a specific process to make it, its not just pork meet cut in thin slices i don’t think.

        if your still in saudi you should order some from pizza hut or dominos and let us know how it compares.

        o and they also have bacon on their burgers beef bacon of course but i never liked it.

      • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
        November 26, 2009 at 9:47 am #

        If you are a lover of pork like myself you can def. taste the difference. Its also possible the one i tried wasn’t of good quaility. And I was eating Turkey bacon for a while trying to eat a little healthier until I found out that it has more sodium than regular bacon.

        Yes you are correct that there is a process to making pepperoni but there is also a process to making veggie eggs but its going to taste different if you use spinach oppose to lettuce. Pork taste different that beef or chicken and its very apparent when they are subbed in. That doesn’t mean it cant taste good buts its different

        I wish I could get off and try food in saudi (but i wouldn’t be caught dead in a pizza hut or dominos while in another country) but we are not allowed to leave the ship. when i get home I will buy some quality beef pepperoni and give it another shot and write about it.

  5. September 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Reblogged this on La Buena Vida and commented:

    A look back to October 2009 and my ramblings, on Mormans, Muslims and Pork.

  6. November 24, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    The secret to making good crock pot pulled pork is to first start with a good pork butt from a pasture raised hog. Second, after you have pulled the pork apart, add your sauce and run the pulled pork back into the oven for 30-60 minutes. It will not be watery , you do not have to sit by and tend it and the baking step melds the sauce and meat.

  7. November 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    I understand not eating certain animals for cultural or religious reasons but as a farmer, I just wanted to add some comments about the animals themselves.
    I raise rare breeds of heritage pigs on pasture and you will not find a cleaner animal. They graze on grasses, acorns, hickory nuts and roots and the organic/ no soy grains and organic veggies that we give them. They do not eat poop and they will not soil the places where they sleep. They will lay in mud when they are hot or will get in the water troughs but they will not lay in manure.
    A starving pig would probably eat poop and a pig will lay in its own waste if it has no other choice. Nutrition, flavor and meat quality is very much affected by how the animal is raised and mostly by what it has eaten during its life. Flavor is also impacted by breed and lifespan.

    Pork in all of its glorious forms is king in NC, but I also raise cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits and poultry.

    • December 25, 2012 at 5:08 am #

      Hi stacy,
      Thank you so much for visiting and the info. Would love to visit your farm sometime.

      • December 25, 2012 at 10:00 am #

        Any one is welcome to visit at any time. Just give us a call to make sure we are home and not otherwise engaged. Phone on web at http://www.yellowwolffarm com

        As an added note, I have a friend who said the same thing about not eating pigs because they eat trash/feces. He eats a lot of beef from the grocery store. Cattle in feedlots are routinely fed the poop (litter , feathers, dead chickens) from confinement chicken houses. These animals learn to . eat what is in front of them because they have no other choice. Urea found in chicken poop will build muscle on cattle. Muscle=beef. Not the kind of beef I want to eat. And again, cattle do not naturally eat poop from any animal if they have the option to graze and live naturally.
        Purchase your food from your local farmer, go to their farms, ask questions. If they do not want you to visit, there is probably a reason, but good farmers are proud of what they do and welcome visitors.


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