Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Friends coming over to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs or the NBA Finals at your house?  I’ve got the perfect recipe that will free you up for watching the game while eating a pulled pork sandwich that is simply amazing.  Amazingly simple and amazingly delicious, that is!

This recipe first appeared in Bon Appétit magazine in July 1999, and I have been making it ever since.  It was one of the main offerings at my twin daughters’ high school graduation party, I’ve brought it to work for a pot luck lunch, and it’s one of my go-to recipes whenever there’s a crowd of people to feed.  Many people have told me it’s the best pulled pork they’ve ever had.

The original recipe called for cooking the pork in a smoker, but I adapted it for a slow cooker with great success.  Besides being one of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve ever eaten, it has a meltingly tender texture.  I made a crock pot full last week and served the pork on homemade burger buns.  What a combo!

One year ago:  Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Two years ago:  Brookies

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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Ingredients for Dry Rub

  • 1 tbl. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tbl. (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbl. paprika
  • 2 tbl. coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 untrimmed boneless pork shoulder halves (also known as Boston butt; about 6 pounds total)

Ingredients for Mop

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbl. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp. liquid smoke

Directions

Make dry rub

Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend.

Place pork, fat side up, on work surface.  Cut each piece lengthwise in half.  Place on large platter or baking sheet.  Sprinkle dry rub all over pork; press into pork.  Cover with plastic; refrigerate at least 2 hours.  (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Keep chilled.)

Make mop

Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl and set aside.

Place the pork in a large crockpot leaving any excess rub on the plate.  Don’t scrape any excess rub into the crockpot.  Pour the mop over the pork and place the top over the crockpot.

Set your crockpot for high for the first hour or until the mop starts bubbling.  After that, adjust the heat to suit your meal timing.  I cooked my pork for 5 hours on high, and it was perfect.  You want to get the meat to an internal temperature somewhere between 170 and 190 degrees.  It should shred easily at that point.

Remove the pork from the crockpot and shred into bite-sized pieces.  Return the pork to the crockpot and keep on lowest setting.  Use a slotted spoon to mound on sandwich buns and serve with your favorite BBQ sauce.  My family’s favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s.

Source:  Adapted from July 1999 recipe from Bon Appétit

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