Pulled Pork with Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce.
You can easily win me over with a pulled pork sandwich.
It’s true! A great one can be hard to find. It’s why I’m so hell bent on constantly sharing my favorites with you and telling you all the millions of ways you can use pulled pork. Which today, starts with four little words: cherry chipotle BBQ sauce.
I’m dead. I want to drink it. Eat it with a spoon. Slather is on all the summer things. Make it my signature flavor forever.
Did I mention it’s made with FRESH cherries?
Hey. It’s made with fresh cherries.
SEE. So fresh.
If you’ve been following for awhile then you know that every summer I go crazy at cherry republic and buy alllll the cherry things. Hot sauce, jams, pepper jellies and BBQ sauce are just a few. Last year, we took our vacation much later in the season so cherries were sort of… meh, by the time I got back. But this year!
I knew it was the year to make theeee best cherry BBQ sauce. Slightly spicy and tangy. Lots of flavor. And all thrown on top of pulled pork because it’s basically my most favorite thing ever.
The base of this BBQ sauce comes from my first cookbook, when I made a vanilla BBQ sauce which was to.die.for. A few years ago I made a root beer BBQ sauce which is equally as delish. And now, with a few swaps, we have a fairly quick and easy homemade sauce that can grace your kitchen this weekend. You’ve GOT to try it. Promise me! Swear!
I made my pulled pork in the slow cooker like I always do, because seriously, is there any better way? Especially in the summer when it’s starting to reach 90 degrees. I don’t need my oven on for four hours. I don’t want to commit to staying home for four hours either. I don’t want to commit to doing anything for four hours unless it includes a SATC marathon and a very large cheese board.
With rosé because hi, I was born in the 80s.
I’m still using this slow cooker and absolutely LOVING it. Guys, the darn thing sears meat so perfectly right in the pot, it’s just like doing it on the stovetop – but without the mess. I adore this thing and tell everyone in my life about it. Once my very old ceramic pot broke from my first slow cooker ever, I went through THREE of them before finding one that did as great of a job. And one that I love. THIS IS IT. Sometimes I drag it out just to sear or cook something super quick if my cooktop is spotless and all pretty and I don’t want to clean every inch. I adore it.
Now you know!
Pork shoulder is still my favorite cut for pulled pork, but I do trim a lot of the fat. There is still enough marbled in that the flavor is there. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been super weird and picky about getting accidental bites of fat or gristle when eating meat. In fact, I usually can’t take another bite. So I want as few huge chunks on there as possible so I don’t bite into them later. Does this make me a pain in the butt?
Also! Your buns. Well, not YOUR buns. The buns.
I used some fresh brioche buns from my local grocery store and geez, were they awesome. So delicious. So buttery. So soft. Any buns work! Most times I like to serve the pork as sliders too.
A quick slaw on top finished it off for some freshness and crunch. I like a crisp, fresh bite with the pork and the tangy sauce, you know? Something to break it all up. Plus, I just love any and all slaw that is vinegar based. ALWAYS.
So, yes! We have our quintessential summer sandwich here. Perfect for your 4th of July BBQ and all that jazz. Great with a beer on the side! Have one for me.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- 1 (4-pound) pork shoulder roast
- 2 teaspoons tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup beer, stock, water or soda like ginger ale, etc (you just need some liquid!)
- buns for serving
cherry chipotle BBQ sauce
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bing cherries, pitted and chopped
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 2/3 cup water (or beer!)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 napa cabbage, sliced and chopped
- 1/2 red cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup of butter lettuce, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- a pinch of salt and pepper
I find the flavor is best when the pork is seared first. My slow cooker sears the meat, but if yours does not, heat a large pot over medium to high heat and add the oil. Sprinkle the pork roast with the salt and pepper, then add it to the pot or slow cooker and sear on all sides until deeply golden brown. If necessary, transfer it to the slow cooker. Pour in the beer or liquid - whichever you choose to use.
Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. After 8 to 10 hours, the pork will easily shred with a fork. Shred it and mix with the juice in the slow cooker. I like to turn my slow cooker on high and let it sit with the lid off for 15 minutes or so - I find that if it's extra liquidy, some of the liquid will be absorbed.
Assemble the sandwiches by serving the pork on the buns, topped with the BBQ sauce and th
cherry chipotle BBQ sauce
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir together until combined. Heat oven medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cook for 30 to 60 minutes, until thickened and the cherries are breaking down. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat and let sit at room temperature until it cools and thickens even more. This stays great in the fridge for a week or so when sealed in a container.
Toss the cabbage and butter lettuce together. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Pour it over the slaw and toss well. Serve immediately!
Chips on that sandwich too. Yes please.