I am nuts about Pulled Pork, particularly North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches with coleslaw on top. When my children were small, we lived in North Carolina for seven years while their father worked for the chemical division of a large US multinational..
My son, Ted, the ribs and burrito king, was born in Asheville and now lives with his wife and baby here in Atlanta. It was not until his wedding three years ago, by the shores of a lake in N.C., that I first had a pulled pork sandwich. On the day of the wedding, my daughter in law's grandmother gave the traditional lunch for the wedding party and out of town guests and had a typical North Carolina BBQ catered by the best guys in town. I was smitten at the first bite. I only wished I had not been the mother of the groom on that memorable occasion for every time I sat down to enjoy it, someone approach me to say hello. It is unquestionably the day I lost my heart to a pulled pork sandwich. Now, whenever I see it on a menu , I order it; and every time I see a recipe, I have to try it. Pulled Pork Sandwich Junkie, that's me.
I saw this recipe on the Williams Sonoma website, looking for their pulled pork sauce (I tell you, it never stops) which has gotten great reviews. It is exclusive to Williams Sonoma and from the looks of it, this recipe's sauce is very similar to the one they sell for $12.00.
Since most of us are going to be buried in snow, rain or sleet this weekend, there is no way anyone is going to be thinking BBQ for the Super Bowl; that's why I'm posting this version which is braised on top of the stove and later in the oven. I'll save the real McCoy for the summer. In the meantime, if you want to see how it's done and laugh a little here's a great post
If you haven't planned ahead, this is a quick and easy fix for this weekend's Super Bowl. The recipe transforms the classic pulled pork sandwich into a small-size version that is perfect for serving at parties. All you need is some beer, dessert and a plasma TV!
Cooks Note: It is important that you buy pork shoulder and not butt, loin or picnic. Wait until you see how inexpensive it is!
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. paprika
1 tsp. mustard powder
3 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup cider vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
For the coleslaw:
1 head green cabbage, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbs. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. celery seed
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
36 Parker House rolls, halved
In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika and mustard powder. Rub the mixture evenly over the pork and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 300°F.
In a 6-quart French braiser or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until almost smoking. Add the pork and brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate. Add the onion, garlic and tomato paste to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of the vinegar and the broth and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the pork, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook, turning the pork every hour, until it is tender and a fork inserted into the meat yields little resistance, about 3 hours total.
Meanwhile, make the coleslaw: Put the cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with the 1 1/2 Tbs. salt and toss well. Transfer to a colander and let drain for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, granulated sugar, lemon juice, celery seed and vinegar, and season with salt and black pepper. Add the drained cabbage and carrots and toss to coat evenly with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
Transfer the pork to a large platter or baking sheet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Skim the fat off the cooking liquid. Set the braiser over medium-high heat, bring the liquid to a simmer and cook until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup vinegar, the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and brown sugar and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
Using 2 forks, shred the meat, discarding any fat, and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the sauce. Place 2 Tbs. pork and 1 Tbs. coleslaw on the bottom of each roll, then cover with the tops of the rolls. Serve immediately. Serves 12.