Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled-pork is one of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes. It's perfect for having friends over for a game (made this for the Super Bowl) or a summer dinner party. This recipe is done in a traditional North Carolina style; served in a vinegar-based sauce. Serve with slaw and hamburger buns, and you've got a hearty sandwich that will satisfy everyone's greatest pork desire.

* 1 (5-7 pound) pork roast (shoulder or Boston butt)

* 3 tablespoons paprika
* 1 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 3 tablespoons salt (I prefer coarse Kosher salt for a rub)
* 1 tablespoon pepper (preferably freshly ground)

Vinegar Barbecue Sauce
* 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
* 1 cup brown mustard
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 garlic cloves, smashed
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For sandwiches:
* Hamburger buns
* Spicy Slaw

* Take out your beautiful hunk o' pork. Mine was a 6 1/2 lb. shoulder roast:

* Try to leave the meat out for a couple of hours before adding the rub (covered, of course). The meat will be more receptive to the rub when it's closer to room temp.
* Mix your dry rub spices together, and then pat the spice mixture into the pork, coating well, and covering every inch.

* Wrap well in plastic wrap.

* Let the meat marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. If marinating overnight, put the pork back in the refrigerator, and then remove at least an hour before cooking.

To roast the pork:
* Preheat the oven to 300F.
* Put the pork in a roasting pan with the fattiest side up.
* (If you're in the market for a roasting pan: I was having trouble finding something affordable, and I found this on Amazon. It's too small for a turkey, but is great for roasting something the size of a chicken or so.)
* Roast for at least 6 hours, until the pork is falling away from the bone. You will want to plan for more time if you have a larger roast. Mine was 6 1/2 lbs., and I roasted it for about 7 hours.

To make the barbecue sauce:
* Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
* Bring to a simmer, and continue cooking and stirring, for about 10 minutes.

To assemble:
* When pork is falling off the bone, remove from the oven, and let rest at least 20 minutes.
* While still warm, shred the pork. The easiest way is to get two forks, and hold one against the meat, and use the other to pull the meat away.
* Put the shredded pork in a bowl, and mix 1/2 of the barbecue sauce in with the shredded pork. Also mix in any juices that have dripped into the roasting pan.

To serve:
* Bottle the rest of the sauce, and put out for people to add to the sandwich if they desire.
* Serve with spicy slaw and hamburger buns. The most authentic method (and my personal fave) is to eat the slaw on the sandwich.
* Watch as your friends happily stuff their face, and the pork quickly disappears...

* Recipe adapted from here.

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