Northern California Barbecue

Pork Foodservice


  • 5 bone-in pork shoulder blade roast (Duroc)
  • 10 dried New Mexican chile peppers (toasted and ground)
  • 100 leaves
  • 25 fennel (branches)
  • 3 gallons water (reduced to 2 gallons)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries (California)
  • 3 cups vinegar (blackberry)
  • 8 ounces dried mission figs
  • 6 ounces blackberries (ripe)
  • 20 grams dried New Mexican chili peppers (roughly 6)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 4 onions (wild)


  1. 1. Reduce 3 gallons of seawater to 2 gallons to adjust the salinity to roughly 7%
  2. 2. While the water is still warm, stir in the remaining ingredients and cool
  3. 3. Pour over pork butts and brine for 24 hours
  4. 1. Combine all ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. 2. Blend or run through food mill
  6. 1. Light large fire with ½ the Madrone wood and ½ of the oak wood
  7. 2. Dig pit in ground – 2 feet wide, 5 feet long and 3 feet deep. Line with bricks or river rocks
  8. 3. Soak the hay in water
  9. 1. Remove butts from brine and dry with towel
  10. 2. Grind the 10 New Mexican chilies and season butts
  11. 3. Place butts on hot grill to get a little color and caramelize
  12. 4. Lay out fig leaves so they make a nice, thick sheet and roll the pork butt so that its completely covered. Secure with bailing wire
  13. 1. Shovel coals that have gathered over the last 2 hours and place in pit.
  14. 2. Throw a few more pieces of wood on and allow to burn down half way. This should take about 45 minutes. By this time the bricks and ground around should be good and hot
  15. 3. Remove about half of the coals and pile next to the pit
  16. 4. Working quickly,
  17. Place a bed of fennel branches in the bottom of the pit.
  18. Follow this with a layer of wet hay.
  19. Place the fig wrapped pork shoulder on the hay.
  20. Follow this with another layer of hay on top of the butts.
  21. Place another layer of fennel branches on top of the hay.
  22. Cover with dirt until the hole is level with the ground.
  23. Place remaining coals on top of dirt
  24. Throw 5 to 7 logs on coals
  25. 5. Now you’re ready to walk away. You will want to keep those coals going on top. This will require the fire to be tended every hour or so
  26. 6. The butts will be ready in roughly 8 hours. The internal temperature should be around 190
  27. 1. Remove butts from the ground and allow let rest for 20 minutes
  28. 2. Pull and serve with BBQ sauce
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