Sometimes you just need some pork. You know?
I know. Oh do I know.
This recipe is so totally ME that I can barely stand it.
I know it’s a bit early to start talking Memorial Day party food, but I’m gearing up already. Of course, all I really want is a bacon cheddar hot dog and I might find another way to use that craving to trash up my site, but for now, we’re doing pork.
First up, this is oven roasted pork! I almost alllllllways use the crockpot but for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to do an oven-roasted version and I wanted to do it right. Yes, you can still totally do this in the crockpot, because what lunatic wants to have their oven on for eight hours straight? Besides me.
I seared the heck out of this gigantic pork butt right after smothering it in my favorite homemade spice rub complete with tons of brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic, salt and chipotle chili pepper. Among other thangs.
After adding a little liquid to the pot (beer, of course), this baby went to roast all day long until it was falling apart in shreds. Then I doused it in my favorite barbecue sauce (which is still bone suckin’ – so flipping good) and let it sit and marry all together.
And then! We made these big honkin’ sandwiches on some of my favorite whole grain buns. With lots of pickles. I’ve had a pickle obsession since I was about four years old. I used to dip potato chips in pickle juice. I still might do that. (it’s ridiculously delicious.) Oh and it has to be dill pickles. Bread and butter pickles can go take a hike.
I prefer pickles straight up, but occasionally I like to eat them on sandwiches. On this sweet and saucy pork, they are a must. With tons of pickled green beans too. GAH. They are just way too fantastic. The combo makes me giddy. It’s my new favorite thing in the universe.
My mom always serves pulled pork with freshly cut slices of provolone cheese and they melt so perfectly into they meat. I was out (depressing), but any kind of cheese is a winner in my book. Weirdly enough, I reeeeally like these sandwiches with all the pickling going on alone. I might not even need cheese. I don’t even know me anymore.
Oh hi perfection.
Saucy Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Yield: serves 8+
Total Time: 8 hours
1 (5 to 6 pound) pork shoulder
1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup beer (or stock, ginger ale, another liquid)
1 to 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
your favorite buns
provolone cheese (my mom's favorite)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pat the pork shoulder completely dry with paper towels.
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili and onion powders. Stir well to mix. Take about half of the mixture and rub it on the outside of the pork.
Heat a large dutch oven over high heat and add the canola oil. Add the pork and sear on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Turn off the heat. Pour the beer (or liquid of choice) into the dutch oven and place the pot, uncovered in the preheated oven. Roast for 6 to 8 hours, until the pork is falling apart and shreds easily with a fork. Shred the pork (you can discard any bones at this time) and add in half of the remaining spice mixture. Toss the pork with a cup or so of BBQ sauce, then place it back in the oven for 30 minutes.
Before serving, taste the pork and add the remaining seasoning and sauce if desired or needed. Serve!
You can definitely make this ahead of time and reheat it. You can also make it in the crockpot, as well as reheat it in the crockpot on the lowest/warm setting.
Uh and I totally added those chips (salt and vinegar for life) on top of my sandwich. Only way to do. obviously.