Easy, Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Is it me or do the words “slow-roasted” conjure up images of a crackling fire in a log cabin, Barry White, and candles?

Just me?

Cool.

My point is, when I hear those words followed by some form of meat, I feel like it’s always going to be good. Slow-roasting meat is a sure-fire way to make it tender and wonderful; it’s just up to you to season it properly (and well).

I have been making this pulled pork for years (usually for my Super Bowl party), and I also make my own BBQ sauce to go with it. My preference for BBQ sauce is similar to a Carolina style BBQ sauce, aka vinegar-based. My consistency is thicker though, because I also use ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, onions, garlic…but it’s got that acidic bite that hits you right under your jowls. It’s fantastic. Feel free to buy your own but I can’t tell you how many food boners I’ve given people by telling them I make my own. The reaction alone is worth it.

For this recipe, I wanted a slaw to go with it, so I made an apple-cabbage slaw. Feel free to use whatever slaw you like. I also recommend meat claws if you can get them, it makes shredding the pork so much easier.

Special equipment needed:

Dutch oven

Blender (if making your own sauce)

Ingredients

Rub Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsps Kosher salt

Slow Roasted Pork:

  • 7-8 pound pork shoulder (bone-in, I think it’s better for flavor)
  • 1 onion, chopped rough
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 lb baby carrots (I use half a bag and eyeball it)
  • 1/2 bottle of IPA beer (I used Harpoon)
  • 3/4 cup homemade BBQ sauce
  • 2/3 cup water

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 small onion, chopped rough
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

Apple Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced thin
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

And I used Martin’s potato rolls for the sandwiches!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Make the slaw. Throw all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. I like slaw to marinate a little, but if you prefer yours on the crunchier side, you can do this later before the pork is almost done.
  3. Rub that pork! Mix all ingredients for the rub together in a small-medium bowl. Put the pork shoulder on a sheet pan and rub the spices all over. Really massage it. Get in there. Cover with foil and leave at room temp while you make the BBQ sauce. If not making your own sauce, move right along to the dutch oven portion of the program.
  4. In a blender, add all ingredients for the BBQ sauce. Puree it up. Done. Season with more salt and/or black pepper if you desire, but it should be perfect!
  5. Set a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the pork shoulder on all sides, about 3-4 mins per side. If this is difficult to turn the shoulder with tongs and a fork, you can try meat claws, or your best bet, those BBQ mitts/gloves so you can just pick it up with your hands. I used meat claws and it wasn’t super easy to flip, but I did it.
  6. After searing on all sides, add the rest of the “Slow Roasted Pork” ingredients to the dutch oven: onions, garlic, carrots, BBQ sauce, water, and beer. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Once simmering, cover the dutch oven and place in the (regular) oven for 3 1/2 hours or so. If you let it go for a little longer, trust me no one will be upset about it.
  8. The meat tends to fall right off the bone at this point, so removing it from the dutch oven in one piece may be tricky. I just take big pieces out and move it to a separate aluminum foil pan to shred it with the meat claws. I reserve some of the juice it’s cooked in too, for drizzling over when I’m done shredding it. I also keep the carrots in there while I shred it because I like the sweetness and little chunks of orange carrot showing through.
  9. Pile onto a potato bread bun, top with the BBQ sauce, then slaw, then enjoy!

 

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