I have never found pulled pork that is better than what is served at The Mill Cafe at base of Stump Mountain at Mammoth Mountain Resort. No wonder, it's three days in the making.
I was just finishing up a pulled pork sandwich, licking my fingers mind you, when I guy who was bussing tables came up and to me and asked how it was. Turns out it was Chris Emde, the General Manager. Chris explained that one of the best gauges of the quality of food is to see what is and isn't left on the plate. He also took the time to explain took the time to explain the pulled pork process to me.
It all starts with pork cushion meat, which is the muscle from the front shoulder; sort of a bicep. It has less fat than the Boston Butt and is boneless.
Day One - A scratch made dry rub is applied to the cushions. They are covered and refrigerated over night. This overnight allows the rub to soak into and marinate the meat.
Day Two - is the smoker. Chris told me that his smoker cost $28,000 to buy and another $12,000 to get operational. Anyway the smoking time alone is eight hours in two parts. After three hours, when there is a good bark on the meat, they start mopping it with a mixture of apple cider and barbeque sauce. The smoker has five rotating racks so as the juices fall from one rack they baste the meat below creating a nice glaze.
Day three- After a day in the smoker the meat is placed in braising pans on a bed of celery, onions, pineapples and oranges. Chris said that the fruit is the rinds are left over from the fruit cups they would make and the onions and celery are byproducts of other recipes. The chefs put chopped garlic on the meat and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. The trays are placed in an over for 16 hours of low and slow braising.
Serving day - Once the pork comes out of the braising oven it is shredded by hand to ensure that there isn't any fat or gristle in it. Barbeque sauce is mixed in and it is ready to serve.
One of The Mill's specialties is the Pulled Pork Nachos. Starting with a bed of vegetarian chili with tortilla chips the pulled pork is piled on and topped with guacamole and sour cream- delish!!!
When at Mammoth be sure to stop by The Mill Cafe. The pulled pork is grand andChris Emde will probably be out busing tables and talking to customers.