Monday, June 13, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I love me a good pulled pork sandwich. The juicy meat, the tangy sauce, accompanied by a side of nice cold, crisp cole slaw. It was a Sunday and my local BBQ joint was closed, so what's a girl to do but make her own?

It was funny. I had the idea of making pulled pork sandwiches the day before, when I drove into town to pick up  our CSA meat. I was also planning a stop at the grocery store after, so I figured I would have to buck up and buy a pork roast there. Heidi and Chuck at Painted Hill Farm must have known that I was obsessing over it, because lo and behold! There was a pork roast in my meat bag! Hoorah! 

This is such a simple recipe. A few standard kitchen ingredients and a crock pot and you're good to go!

The first thing I did was melt a mixture of butter and oil in a pan large enough to fit my pork roast. You'll want to get good color on your pork, so at least medium or medium high is the temp you want.

While the butter and oil are getting hot, dice or mince an onion, and give your garlic cloves a good smash.

Then season the pork on all sides.

When the butter and oil are hot,  carefully set the pork in the hot pan.

Sear the meat 2-3 minutes on each side, until nice and golden brown on the outside.

Once the meat has good color, remove it and place it in your slow cooker.

Drain any excess fat from the pan, leaving about a tablespoon's worth in the bottom.

Toss the onions and garlic into the pan. Use a wooden spoon to get all the pork crusties off the bottom of the pan.

When the onions and garlic are softened, turn the heat to medium-low. Hold your face far away from the pan and pour in the vinegar.

Now that your measuring cup is empty, use it to measure out some ketchup.

Measure some molasses too.

Scoop the ketchup and molasses into the pan with the vinegar and onions. Then dump in some brown sugar.

Then some Worcestershire.

A little dry mustard was next, for some zip.

A couple dashes of cayenne come next, just because I like a little heat. And don't forget to add salt and pepper!

Stir everything together and let the stove do its thing. When the sauce starts to bubble, you can pull it off the heat.

Pour it right over the pork that you let hang out in the slow cooker.

After 5-6 hours on high (or 7-8 on low), your pork roast should be fork-tender. Shred it with a fork or use a cleaver to cut it into little bits.

If you're serving the meat right away, you could serve it as-is. I wasn't, so I moved it to a pot and added a little bit of the juice left in the crock pot, to keep things moist.

Add some of your favorite BBQ sauce if you like. I know some people like their meat naked, and other people love to slather sauce everywhere. Or you could just add more of the cooking liquid.

I could eat these sandwiches every day. OMG. Amazing. With just a few ingredients, a short period of prep time, and a reliable slow cooker, and you've got yourself a meal everyone will love!

Recipe: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. oil
2-3 lb. pork roast
salt and pepper, to taste

1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, smashed

3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
3/4 c. ketchup
1/3 c. molasses
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

BBQ sauce (optional)

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Melt butter and oil in a hot pan and sear the meat on all sides. Remove meat from the pan and set in slow cooker. Drain excess fat.

In the same pan, saute onions and garlic until softened. Deglaze the pan with vinegar. Add ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and heat until bubbling. Pour sauce over pork roast in slow cooker.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6.

Once meat is fork-tender, remove and shred. Serve immediately. If not serving immediately, either move back to crock pot or to a pot with some added cooking liquid. Pour on some of your favorite BBQ sauce, if desired. Keep over low heat until ready to eat.


  1. Hi, I've been reading back through your recipes for the past couple of days, and tried this one today. I literally just finished my sandwich and came back here to post, because OMG this was sooooo good!

    I had it without any BBQ sauce, my hubby had it with our usual sauce, and we both love it. Needless to say, this recipe is going straight into regular use here. Thank you! I'll definitely be trying more of your stuff.

  2. Glad you liked it! This has got to be one of my favorite recipes. I made it three weeks in a row, I liked it so much. The only thing that I think could make it better is some smoke flavor, but I haven't yet brought myself to give in to the $100 smoke gun from Williams-Sonoma!

    Stick around, keep commenting, and be sure to enter the contest (! Thanks for stopping by!