Monday, May 30, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwich

This holiday weekend is the traditional kick-off of summer, as they like to say. For lots of people that means cookouts, barbecues, drinks and parties. Alas, I have no grill - my ex-husband took it with him when he left. I have no real outdoor dining area, no deck or patio. Some day I'd love a large patio with plenty of room to host cookouts. I daydream about the killer grill and smoker I'd have.

But I digress. I got pulled pork on my brain earlier this week. I may not have a grill or a smoker, but I do have a crock pot. I knew I could could cook the hell out of a pork butt in a large crock pot and with the right spice rub and barbecue sauce, I could recreate some cookout favorites right in my kitchen.

Results don't lie - this meat was tender and flavorful, and the sauce added a lovely sweet and tangy zing.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

  • 6 - 8 lb. pork butt (pork shoulder, preferably bone-in)
  • Spice Rub (recipe below) 
  • 1 onion, quartered and separated into layers
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 t Liquid Smoke
  • BBQ sauce - Use your favorite jarred brand or make your own. My recipe follows
  • Creamy coleslaw - Recipe follows
  • Buns

  1. Make the spice rub and place the pork butt in a large bowl. Coat the meat with all of the spice rub, massaging it into the surface. Wrap in a double-thickness off plastic wrap and place in a large bowl and refrigerate 12 hours.
  2. Place the onion sections in the bottom of a large crock pot with the water and Liquid Smoke. 
  3. Unwrap the meat and put it in the pot and turn the heat to low, cover it and let cook about 10 hours or until the meat is fork-tender and falling off the bone. For smaller piece of meat, start checking at about 8 hours. This 8 pounder cooked for a full 10 hours. Crock pots vary in how hot their settings are, so be sure to check.
  4. Take the meat out and place it in a large pan - I used a disposable lasagna pan. Discard the liquid in the crock pot.
  5. Remove the bone and the fat and discard. Then pull the meat into shreds with two forks, or cut it with a knife and fork.
  6. Put the shredded meat back in the crock pot along with 1 - 2 cups BBQ sauce. Stir to coat and warm up on the lowest crock pot setting, ten serve on a bun with more BBQ sauce and coleslaw.

Spice Rub


  • 4 T paprika
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 T table salt
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 t cayenne
  • 2 t thyme
  • 2 t granulated garlic
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika

  1. Mix well.

BBQ sauce

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, cut into large pieces
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 6 T fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 6 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 T Liquid Smoke 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 T dark molasses
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 t hot pepper sauce -I like Cholula
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 T dry yellow mustard powder
  • 1 t granulated garlic 
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t smoked paprika
  • small knob of dried chipotle chili

  1. Saute the onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until the edges start to brown up, then add the garlic chunks and saute for another minute.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, uncovered. Stir occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't stick and burn.
  4. Fish out the knob of chipotle pepper and puree the sauce with a stick blender or in small batches in the blender.
  5. Taste to adjust seasoning, adding more hot sauce or a pinch more cayenne if you want it spicier.
  6. Cool to room temperature and store, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

Creamy Coleslaw

  • 1/2 head large green cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 large vidalia onion
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 2 heaping T creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 1 T mustard powder
  • 2 t celery seed
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/8 t black pepper
  1. Shred the carrots and onion with the shredding disc of a food processor.
  2. Put in a large bowl and add the mayo, creme fraiche, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, mustard and celery seed. Mix well.
  3. Shred the cabbage with the same disc and add the cabbage to the mix, stirring well.
  4. Serve.


  1. Que exquisito ,muy contundente y completo,se ve divino,me encantó,cariños y abrazos.

  2. It was delicious, too. There is nothing like a slow-cooked piece of meat that just falls apart and melts in your mouth when you eat it! :)


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