Louis Lambert, owner of five successful restaurants, couples West Texan flavor with high-end sophistication to create "haute ranch cooking" in his newest cookbook, Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook. The result is hearty and unique meals that seem to truly celebrate their ingredients. Read more in our September Cooking column and try the following recipe for a preview of what Big Ranch, Big City has in store:

Slow-Smoked Pork Butt with Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce


When I was growing up in West Texas, pork was pretty much limited to bacon and sausage. It wasn’t until I was in college that I discovered my love for pork barbecue, the sweet, smoky meat served with a sharp vinegar barbecue sauce. This pork butt can be cooked low and slow in a hot smoker, or you can cheat by starting it in your barbecue pit over a slow fire for a couple of hours and then finishing it in your oven.


Makes 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons finely ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 5 pounds boneless pork butt

  • Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce


Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and garlic power in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Coat the pork butt with the rub, pressing it into the meat to form a crust.

If using a hot smoker, start your fire and build the temperature to 275ºF. Place the pork butt on the rack with the fat side up. Hot smoke the pork for 6 hours, maintaining the temperature at 275ºF to 300ºF. After 6 hours, increase the temperature to 325ºF and continue cooking until the meat is fork-tender and begins to fall apart, about another 2 hours.

If you are using your barbecue pit, start a small fire to one side of the pit. Bring the temperature in the pit to 300ºF and place the pork, fat side up, on the opposite side of the pit from the fire.

Maintain the temperature in the pit at 300ºF by slowly adding more chunks of wood. After about 2 hours, preheat your oven to 325ºF. Remove the pork from the pit and wrap in aluminum foil. Place the pork in the oven for 4 hours. Increase the temperature to 325ºF and continue cooking until the meat is fork-tender and begins to fall apart, about another 2 hours.

Excerpted from Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook by Louis Lambert © 2011. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Read our review of this book.

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