My Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe allows you to experience the smokey and complex flavors of barbecue smoked pulled pork, even if you don’t own a smoker or if you’re craving a smoked pulled pork sandwich in the middle of winter, like me.
The secret is to imparting a smokey flavor is to use Hickory Liquid Smoke – which is produced from smoke as it is passes through water – and imparting a flavor to the pork that you can’t otherwise get without firing up a real smoker grill. I slow cook the pulled pork in a Le Creuset French Oven, and make my own homemade Smokey Barbecue Sauce to mix in with the pulled pork. I then serve it over a soft kaiser bun and sprinkle it with English Stilton blue cheese. The result is the best possible likeness to barbecue smoked flavor that you can have, without stepping outside in the bitter winter cold. Click the link for the complete recipe and HD cooking video.
Special Thanks to Le Creuset for furbishing me with a excellent Le Creuset French Oven for this recipe. Click the link below for more information about slow-cooking and braising with Le Creuset cookware.
High Definition Video Presented Here:
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 – 10 portions
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- 2 kg (4 lb) whole pork shoulder
Pork Marinade (Spice Rub)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 2 tablespoons sweet dried paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili power
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
BBQ Sauce (Braising Sauce)
- 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 1 28 oz of canned tomatoes
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup fresh apple cider
- 4 tablespoon of liquid smoke (hickory flavor preferred)
- 2 tablespoons of dry mustard powder
- 3 tablespoons honey or molases
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon allspice powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine the Pork Marinade (Spice Rub) ingredients in a bowl and mix well. With the pork shoulder on a large wood cutting board, rub the Spice Rub all over the pork.
- Place any extra spice rub in a large Ziploc bag and place the pork shoulder in the Ziploc bag and let it marinade in the fridge overnight
- Remove the pork shoulder from the Ziploc bag and place it on a clean working surface
- Heat olive oil in a Le Creuset French Oven or similar heavy braising pot over medium-high heat with and allow the oil to come up to temperature. Place the pork shoulder in the braising pot and sear the outside until the pork shoulder is browned on all sides
- Remove pork shoulder from pot and add a bit more olive oil, allowing it to come up to temperature again
- Add two yellow onions and saute them down until soft for about 10 minutes
- Add the minced clove of garlic and again cook the garlic for another 2-3 minutes
- Add the remaining Barbecue Sauce (Braising Sauce) ingredients and with the heat on medium-high, allow the sauce to come to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low, and add the pork shoulder back into the sauce
- Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place the pot in an oven pre-heated to 275 Degrees F.
- Remove the pot from the oven after 2 hours and check on it. The pork shoulder will be done when the meat easily flakes off without any resistance. This will usually take 3 – 3 1/2 hours
- Once the pork shoulder is cooked, remove the pork from the pot, and skim any fat off the surface of the liquid remaining inside the pot. This will be your barbecue sauce, but it must be reduced down and thickened appropriately, so turn the heat back on to medium-high and bring the sauce up to a boil until the liquid is reduced by half
- Once reduced, turn the heat off the pot, and allow to cool. While the barbecue sauce is cooling, with a fork in each hand, shred the pork shoulder by pulling it apart so that only small strands of pork remain
- Mix the reduced barbecue sauce with the pork shoulder until the pulled (shredded) pork and barbecue sauce are completely mixed together
- Plate on a soft roll or kaiser bun, and top with English Stilton Blue Cheese and/or creamy coleslaw
Serving Note: Coleslaw compliments the pulled pork well because the pork is sweet, smokey (from the liquid smoke), and just a bit spicy. The coleslaw and blue cheese helps to balance that.
Serve with a dark beer which has enough body to stand up to the considerable flavor of the pork, barbecue sauce, blue cheese, and coleslaw. I prefer Wellington County Dark Ale.