Which pulled pork team do you support? Are you a spicy tomato-based sauce sort of person? Or do you prefer the vinegary bite of Carolina-style pulled pork? What about spice rubs? Yay? Nay? Do you like to slow roast it in the oven or do you prefer breaking out the wood chips to get a nice smokey flavor? What about using a crock-pot? Love it, hate it?
For me it all starts with a rub with salt, cumin, brown sugar, onion powder, ground mustard, garlic powder, and healthy dose of chili powder. It’s got some heat without being burn-your-face spicy with a little caramel-y sweetness from the brown sugar.
Take that goodness and rub it all over a big o’ piece of pork, set the pork on a bed of onion, celery, and carrot, and pop it into the oven to slow-cook over several hours.
Let it rest and then shred it.
At the risk of alienating the state of North Carolina – the place I now call home – I will confess that I’m a tomato based barbecue sauce girl and I like my pulled pork just lightly dressed in the stuff. No drippy, saucy, get-all-over-your-face-and-clothes sauce for me. Not so into that.
Oh, and coleslaw – I love my pulled pork sandwiches piled high with a simple and basic slaw. The cold, crunchy, lightly-vinegary slaw is perfect with the tender shredded pork.
What about you? How do you like your pulled pork? Do tell.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Pulled pork is great for feeding a crowd, but if you don’t plan to serve it all at once you can cook the pork, shred it, and then freeze some of it to use later. I love pulled pork sandwiches, but the shredded pork is also great for enchiladas, tacos, or tossed into some tomato sauce and served with pasta. In other words, it’s versatile!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: A lot of People!
- Category: Sandwiches
- For the Pork
- 1/4 cup Chili Powder
- 3 tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
- 5-7 pound pork shoulder or rump (mine was about 6.5 pounds)
- 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
- [br]For the Coleslaw
- 1/4 Green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixtures all over the pork, generously coating all sides.
- Place the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the bottom of a roasting pan. Set the pork shoulder on top of the vegetables. Roast the pork for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove from the oven and take the pork out of the roasting pan and set it aside to rest. Remove the vegetables and discard. There will be a lot of juices and fat at the bottom of the pan. Skim off the fat, reserving the juice.
- Return the pork to the pan and shred it (remove any undesirable parts like fatty bits and discard).
- Serve as is or toss it in your favorite sauce. I like a tomato based-barbecue sauce. If you are freezing some of the pork hold off saucing it until you’re ready to use it.
- To make the coleslaw combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add the cabbage and carrot to the yogurt mixture and toss it all together until well coated.
You can make the pork and the coleslaw ahead of time. Keep the shredded pork in the fridge or freezer and when ready to serve either warm it up with some sauce on the stove or pop it into a slow cooker to warm (if frozen let it thaw before warming). You can prep all of the components for the slaw ahead of time (up to one day in advance), but keep the vegetables separate from the dressing in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Otherwise, the slaw will get soggy and lose it’s crunch.