Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Homemade BBQ Sauce and Slaw

This recipe is one that I have been making for about 10 years or so, and I love to feed it to my friends and family! You will need to start early (I usually start this around 3:30 so it is ready around 7-7:30, but it is really easy! Here is what you will need:

Pork Shoulder Roast (usually around 5 lbs)
1 medium yellow onion
2-3 Bay Leaves
A couple handfuls of kosher or sea salt (for the water)
1 1/2 tsp peppercorns
garlic powder, salt and pepper for rub
Soft Francese or Ciabatta rolls (or buns if you prefer)

Basic BBQ Sauce (you might want to double this if you are feeding more than four people)

1 Tbs canola oil
1 large shallot (or half a medium onion and 1 clove garlic)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Coke
2 Tbs yellow mustard (you can add more if you like for a tangier sauce, or omit mustard and add 2 Tbs apricot preserves for a sweeter sauce)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
few drops of liquid smoke (be very careful, this stuff is potent!)

Basic Cole Slaw

1 head cabbage, shredded (or two bags store bought pre-shredded with carrots)
4 green onions, finely chopped (about half a cup or so)
2 large carrots shredded (delete if using the pre-shredded cabbage)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 -3/4 cup Mayo (depending on how creamy you want it)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or celery salt or combo if you like
Pepper to taste

Mix slaw in large bowl (as it sits it will shrink). I usually start with this recipe and then adjust to taste. I also like to kick it up a bit sometimes by adding a tsp of powdered ginger, and about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts, it goes great with the pork)

Place pork roast in large pot and cover with water. Roughly chop onion and add to pot along with Bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to simmer for approx. three hours. Meat is done when you can just pull the bone out (or if boneless, gives easily when you stick a fork in it). Heat oven to 400 degrees. I highly recommend using a foil-lined cookie sheet with a metal cooling rack placed inside. Cover cooling rack with foil also and poke all over with fork.

While oven is heating, remove meat to platter and let cool until easy to manage. Break the meat into several large chunks and spread on prepared cookie sheet. Liberally sprinkle meat with garlic powder, salt and pepper and bake for about 25 minutes, until meat is golden brown and crispy.

While meat is in the oven, prepare sauce (you can, of course make sauce earlier, but this is usually when I do it). Finely chop shallot and saute in oil until translucent (not brown), about 5-7 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. It will be thicker and darker. This sauce is a great combo of North Carolina tang and the smokey sweetness you might find in traditional Texas BBQ.

When meat is done, remove from oven and again, let it cool until it is easy to handle. Move back to platter and shred with two forks (feel free to sample at this time!). Take half the meat and mix with half the BBQ sauce in bowl*, there will be a lot of meat, so leave the other half for leftovers - makes great carnitas tacos the next day. Place a healthy scoop of meat on bun, more BBQ sauce and top with slaw.

*I do this because some people like the pork "as is" on their sandwich and just topped with BBQ sauce. You can always mix up more sauce and meat if more is needed.


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