BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

May 23, 2014 § Leave a comment


Today the rain came back. The weather has been so fine in Seattle this spring. When the sun shines my productivity slows to a crawl and I am swollen with gratitude that I don’t have to be indoors.  Perhaps I ought to be indoors, but I lack the willpower to plant myself in front of a computer or a stove when it’s 70 degrees outside, and the birds are chirping, and it’s still sunny for hours after dinner.  Our cupboards have become bare, because how on earth could I have spent any of those precious sunny minutes in a grocery store? Children, eat this leftover macaroni and cheese and these adorable petit peas from our freezer and then let’s go outside.  Yes, you can have a popsicle.

But now it is raining and I will spend this day indoors.  I have had a hunk of pork shoulder in my fridge for a few days that I kept meaning to roast but, you know, I was distracted. The sun was shining.  This morning I realized that  this roast was destined to become shreddy, tangy pulled pork.  A dinner that will evoke the sunny days of the past week, but would never have been possible without today’s rain.  I found a recipe by chef David Chang and celebrated because all of the ingredients were right there, in my barely stocked cupboards.  It takes a few minutes to brown the pork and combine the ingredients, and a few hours to slow cook the pork to the fall-apart tender state that these sandwiches require.  Use that long cooking time to make this quite delicious slaw, catch up on emails, and stare out the window waiting for this rain to stop.

P.s. – Now I’ve finished this post and the rain has ceased and the sun is shining! Thank goodness I already cooked dinner. Gotta go.


BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

adapted from a recipe by David Chang

Serves 8

5 lb pork shoulder, cut in half

3 -4  Tablespoons of oil or bacon fat

Salt & pepper

1/2 cup tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup molasses

1 cup ketchup

1 Tablespoon ground coffee

1 cup water

8 BBQ buns

Coleslaw and sweet pickles for serving, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the oil or bacon fat.  Brown the pork shoulder on all sides, then transfer the meat to a plate.

2. If the pot is dry, add additional fat or oil.  Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the tomato paste. Cook the paste until it turns a deep red, about two minutes.  Add the paprika, cloves, allspice and brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 30 seconds.  Add the vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.  Add the molasses, ketchup, ground coffee and water and bring to a simmer.

3. Return the pork to the dutch oven and bring the mixture back to the simmer.  Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the pork falls into shreds when you press it with a fork, two to three hours. Occasionally turn the pork in its sauce and check the the sauce is just simmering, not boiling. Adjust the oven temperature as necessary.

4. Once the pork is tender, remove it from the pot and let it rest in a large bowl. Return the pot to the stovetop and reduce the sauce over high heat until it thickens, about five minutes.  Use a spoon to skim what fat you can from the surface of the sauce. While the sauce is reducing use two forks to shred the pork, discarding any large pieces of fat.

5. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed. Combine the sauce and the shredded pork. Serve on BBQ buns with the coleslaw and pickles, if you’d like.





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