Pulled Pork Sandwich


Pulled pork sandwiches can hardly be called sandwiches. The sauce soaks into the buns and if you tried to pick one up with your hands it would completely fall apart. Well, perhaps if you used a sturdier bun, and wrapped the sandwich in aluminum foil like a burrito, it could be eaten like a sandwich. We just pile the pulled pork on a hamburger bun and eat it with a fork.

Pulled pork is the perfect slow-cooking winter dish, warm and spicy. This is my father’s pulled pork sandwich recipe, and is, in my humble opinion, the best.

Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of Chipotle chile powder
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 3 lbs of pork butt shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Hamburger buns


1 Purée all of the sauce ingredients (everything except the bay leaf, the pork and the buns) in a blender until smooth. If you have extra time, marinate the pork in the sauce overnight or for several hours before cooking.

2 Put sauce, bay leaf, and pork into a large pot and add 1 quart of water. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, covered, turning frequently, for 2 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.

3 Remove from heat and cool pork in the sauce. When cool enough to touch, remove the pork from the sauce and shred into small pieces. Set aside.

4 Put the sauce back on the stove and bring it to a low boil. Let the sauce boil down until it has been reduced by two thirds. Add the pork back to the sauce. Salt to taste. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve hot over open-face hamburger buns.

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North Carolina pulled pork sandwiches from The Paupered Chef
Gastronomy Domine pulled pork
Pulled pork stew from Cooking by the Seat of my Pants
Slow-cooker pulled pork with chipotle BBQ sauce from Andrea's Recipes

Pulled Pork Sandwich on Simply Recipes

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Showing 4 of 103 Comments

  • Janet

    First, love your blog. It’s my #2 resource after the Joy of Cooking.

    Second, thank you for the direction ” Purée all of the sauce ingredients (everything except the bay leaf, the pork and the buns)”
    because that’s hilarious.

  • Rose

    I’ve tried so many pulled pork recipes that end in “then add your favorite bbq sauce” – often, I end up having to do that anyway. Not so with this recipe – it was amazing! My husband loves pulled pork, and agreed that this is the first recipe I’ve tried that he wants me to make again. I was skeptical about cooking it in the sauce/water, because all the other recipes I’ve tried are done in a pan or crock pot without added water. I don’t know why it’s great, but it’s great. We make so many of your recipes, Elise, and here’s another winner. Thanks!

  • Gillian

    I have one question. It’s a bit hard to tell if the sauce has reduced enough. Can you continue to simmer the pork in the sauce if it is a bit too saucy? Thanks

  • Sherry Copeland

    Oh Heavens, this is fantastic! I made it exactly as written, except I put it in the crock pot, so I reduced the water to 1 cup. I am now reducing the sauce and I hope that the pork makes it to supper. (I keep “sampling”). I cooked it on high for most of the day, and put it back to low for the last hour. I didn’t start until 10AM and took it out at 4PM.

  • Bruce

    Hi Elise: I”m actually preparing this recipe right now, although i doubled it for a large football playoff crowd coming over later. Question: if I want to crisp the meat a bit, should I pop it under the broiler for a few minutes after I shred it, and then return it to a platter with the sauce? Always love your recipes and use them more than any other food blogger’s. BF

    That would work. Just like with carnitas. ~Elise

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