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.
Warm and spicy, pulled pork is the perfect dish for cooler weather (though we enjoy it any time of the year). This is my father's pulled pork sandwich recipe, and is, in my humble opinion, the best.
How to Make Pulled Pork
We start with a sauce that is a purée of garlic, onion, jalapeño, mustard, vinegar, ketchup, and a few other ingredients. If you have the time, you can marinate the pork in the sauce overnight or for a few hours before you cook it. This will allow the pork to absorb even more of the sauce's flavor.
We simmer pork shoulder (oddly also called pork "butt") in the marinade sauce for a couple of hours until the meat is fall-apart tender. Then we remove the pork to shred it, reduce the sauce, and return the pork to the sauce.
What to Serve With Pulled Pork
Adapting This Recipe for a Slow Cooker
Cooking pork shoulder in a slow cooker is an easy, hands-off way to make pulled pork. If you want to go that route, cook the pork 6 to 10 hours on low, until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
Storing and Keeping Pulled Pork
Covered and refrigerated, pulled pork will keep for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for about 3 months.
More Pulled Pork, You Say? Here You Go
- Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos
- Slow Cooker Cider Pulled Pork
- Salsa Verde Carnitas
- Pressure Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Chinese Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork Sandwich
- For the sauce:
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons Chipotle chile powder
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon 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
- For the pork:
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 pounds pork butt shoulder roast
- Hamburger buns
Purée sauce ingredients in blender:
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.
Put sauce, bay leaf, and pork into a large pot and add 1 quart of water. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, turning frequently, for 2 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.
Shred the pork:
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.
Reduce sauce, return pork to sauce:
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 the bay leaf before serving. Serve the pork hot over open-face hamburger buns.