THE Dish: Elizabeth Karmel's N.C. pulled pork

Elizabeth Karmel's pulled pork sandwiches
Elizabeth Karmel's pulled pork sandwiches featured on "CBS This Morning: Saturday."

(CBS News) Elizabeth Karmel, called the queen of grilling, has made a name for herself as executive chef at Hill Country, one of New York City's best barbecue restaurants, and is founder of the popular website Girls at the Grill.

Karmel, the author of several award-winning cookbooks including "Taming the Flame," joined "CBS This Morning: Saturday" with her ultimate dish - North Carolina pulled pork.

Karmel grew up in North Carolina where she was raised on barbecue. Her cultural passion for barbecue served Karmel well as she played with fire everyday handling marketing public relations efforts and culinary initiatives for a decade before creating Girls at the Grill in 2001, a website where Karmel shares her passion for outdoor cooking with girls (and the occasional guy) everywhere.

Enjoy all our recipes!


North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwich

This is the recipe that started my love affair with Southern barbecue. Real barbecue is flavored by time and a kiss of wood smoke. Follow the tradition that harkens a slower pace and your patience will be rewarded with rich, succulent and smoky pork.

Grilling Method: Indirect/Low Heat


  • Hickory wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 Pork Butt, Boston Butt or untrimmed end-cut pork shoulder roast, 7 to 9 pounds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Lexington-Style BBQ Sauce (see below)
  • North Carolina Coleslaw (see below)
  • 1 package plain white hamburger buns


Prepare either a charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking.

Remove pork from wrapper. Do not trim any excess fat off the meat, this fat will naturally baste the meat and keep it moist during the long cooking time. Brush pork with a thin coating of Olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a clean tray until ready to cook.

Before placing the meat on the grill, add soaked wood chips. Place chips directly on white-gray ash briquettes or in the smoking box of your gas grill. If using a charcoal grill, you will need to add charcoal every hour to maintain the heat.

Place pork in the center of the cooking grate fat-side up. Cook slowly for 4 to 6 hours at 300-325F, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork registers 190F-200F. The meat should be very tender and falling apart. If there is a bone in the meat, it will take longer to cook and the bone should come out smooth and clean with no meat clinging to it. (This is the real test for doneness on the barbecue circuit.) Remember, there is no need to turn the meat during the entire cooking time.

Let meat rest for 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Using clean food-service gloves, pull meat from the skin, bones and fat. Set aside any crispy bits (fat) that have been completely rendered and looks almost burned. Working quickly, shred the chunks of meat with two forks by crossing the forks and "pulling" the meat into small pieces from the roast. Alternately, you can chop the meat with a cleaver if you prefer. Chop the reserved crispy bits and mix into the pulled pork. While the meat is still warm, mix with enough Lexington-Style BBQ Sauce (recipe follows) to moisten and season the meat, about 3/4 cup. The recipe can be made in advance up to this point and reheated with about 1/4 cup additional sauce in a double boiler.

Serve sandwich style on a white hamburger bun and top with North Carolina Coleslaw (recipe follows). Serve additional sauce on the side, if desired.

Serves 10

Lexington-Style Vinegar Sauce

Double recipe to make sure you have enough sauce for the pork, the slaw and extra for the table.

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 -1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (the more flakes, the hotter the sauce*)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup


Mix all ingredients together and let sit at least 10 minutes or almost indefinitely in the refrigerator. (*Note, the longer the sauce sits, the hotter it gets since the heat from the red pepper flakes is brought out by the vinegar. Start with 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes and then add more to taste.)

North Carolina Coleslaw:

  • 1 recipe BBQ sauce
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, chopped

Mix sauce and cabbage together until well mixed and not quite wet. Refrigerate. Let sit 2 hours or overnight.

Pastis Shrimp

This is my French-flavored version of peel 'n eat shrimp. The sauce is delicious and warrants a whole baguette just for sopping up! If you prefer to cook this indoors, preheat your oven to 425F.

Grilling Method: Indirect-Medium High


  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for shrimp
  • 1/4 cup Pastis (Ricard, preferably, or Pernod)
  • 8 cloves of fresh garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons fennel or anis seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole green peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for serving
  • 3 pounds jumbo shrimp or tiger shrimp in the shells (the bigger, the better)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • Crusty baguette for serving


Whisk together the oil, Pastis, garlic, fennel, peppercorns and tarragon. Toss cleaned and dry shrimp in a bowl with a little oil and the salt. Lay the shrimp in one layer in a shallow gratin dish or casserole (a Pyrex is just fine). Pour the Pastis mixture evenly over the shrimp.

Place the gratin dish in the center of the cooking grate (or in your oven) and cook about 15 minutes or 7 minutes per side, taking the dish out of the grill (or oven) and turning the shrimp in the casserole once halfway through the cooking time.

Take the shrimp out as soon as they are done, when they are pink, their tails are curled and they are just cooked through. You do not want to overcook them. Serve them family style on a table spread with newspapers or something that washes easily-they can get messy! This is the French-flavored version of peel 'n eat shrimp! The sauce is delicious and warrants a whole baguette just for sopping up!!

Serves 3-6, depending on appetite!