I want to talk to you about something very serious. Football season is upon us, which means pretty soon your buddies will be coming over all the time to drink your beer and eat your food. Don’t disappoint your friends with sub-par stuff like frozen hot dogs charred to black or lame chips and store-bought dips. Step it up. Here’s the serious part.
Nachos. Nachos can be a polycephalic beast for sure. They run the gamut from stale chips topped with a gooey yellow substance that I can only describe as warm cheese pudding to truly magical platters of cheesy, meaty, crunchy goodness. Go for the f*cking jugular on this one and make BBQ pulled pork nachos, a.k.a. the Pigskinless Pigskin Platter. You’ll need to work ahead on the sauce and the pork butt, but hey, you can always prep the main ingredients while watching college games on Saturday, then have your nacho fixin’s ready for the pros come Sunday.
For the pork rub
- 1/4 cup smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (I like demerara)
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1/4 cup ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
For the pork
- 1 4-5 pound pork shoulder or butt
- 1 can or bottle of your favorite beer
For the barbecue sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup reserved pork rub
For the nachos
- 1 large bag tortilla chips
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- crumbled goat cheese
- shredded monterey jack
- red onion, sliced or diced
- thinly sliced scallion
- thinly sliced fresno or other mildly hot peppers
- Combine all your ingredients in a small pot, and whisk them for a bit to get everything incorporated together.
- Put the pot on the stove over medium heat, and wait for the sauce to start bubbling, stirring occasionally.
- Let it bubble for about a minute (while stirring a little bit), and then pull it off the heat and set aside, or refrigerate if making ahead.
- Preheat the oven to 300F, and then combine all the dry ingredients for your pork rub, making sure you mix the ingredients well so that everything is evenly distributed.
- Now rub down your pork. There's a possibility you'll have more rub than you need depending on how big your pork butt is, but that's more good news than bad.
- Put your rubbed-down butt (haha) in a baking dish and pour in the beer. Cover with foil and throw it in the oven. Every hour after the first couple hours you can go in and baste it a little (or better yet, use a flavor injector; check out this official Food Republic instagram). Depending on your oven and the size of your butt (ha!) it'll take 5-7 hours.
- Pull it out of the oven and let it cool off a bit before you start pulling it apart with your fingers and removing any unsavory bits (like any bone or fat).
- Mix the pulled pork with enough sauce (reheated if made ahead) to coat to your liking.
- Preheat the oven to 350, then arrange a thick layer of tortilla chips on a foil-wrapped cookie sheet, spreading the chips out for as close to 100% cookie sheet coverage as possible.
- Top your nachos in this order (or don't: they're nachos, they'll be fine):
- Goat cheese
- Red onion
- Jack cheese
- Fresno peppers
3. Once that cheese is fully melted and just starting to crisp you're good to go — 20-30 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole if you like.