What better way to celebrate our county's independance than with a good 'ole American sandwich!
Not just any old sandwich, but one that has the flavors American's love....BBQ.
Now this sandwich is not just any 'ole meat....it PORK...and not a typical smoked pork, cause I don't have a smoker. But, it certainly does have the smokey flavor, AND the pork is slow cooked and pulled just like a real smoked pork.
The trick is that I used a slow cooker....yes, a crock pot...and it came out tender, moist, and falling off the bone!
Don't let this fool you, this sandwich packs a great punch. I also used my special Chili Rub I posted yesterday, which gives this great "smokey" flavor. (click on the link to go to the Chili Rub recipe) Make sure to add this step it's crucial!
This pulled pork sandwich is in the spirit of the Carolina BBQs. The meat is slow cooked, over indirect heat. Using a pork shoulder, the meat is "pulled" or shredded. The all important sauce is a vinegar based sauce which I bought (more on that later) and is used to flavor the pork after the slow cooking is complete. This sauce is typical of North Carolina. In South Carolina they tend to use a mustard based sauce, but I like the vinegar base myself!
This is not a "quick" meal by any means, so it takes some time and planning. Great for a large crowd, a party, celebrations, holiday, or weekend meal.
So let's pull some pork!!!
Take a 4 1b. boneless pork shoulder. Rub the pork with my chili rub all over, on both sides. Really rub it in there.
Place the pork fat side up in a 5 quart slow cooker. As a basting, add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 stick of butter. You can put some of the butter on top of the pork so that it melts and seeps in to the meat.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or under very tender.
Remove pork from slow cooker and place on a cutting board to rest and cool enough for you to handle. I've pulled off the top fat layer here... see that great crust, and the seasoning??
Meanwhile heat up the BBQ sauce in a sauce pan on your stove over low heat. I purchased a North Carolina Sauce called "NC Barbecue Sauce" from "The Pit". Purchased from Williams-Sonoma. The Pit Western-Style North Carolina Barbecue Sauce: A famous blend of pureed tomatoes, tangy cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses and local wildflower honey, this spicy-sweet sauce comes from The Pit Authentic Barbecue in Raleigh, North Carolina; 12 oz. You can purchase this here: The Pit - Carolina BBQ Sauce .
You might need several bottles if you are serving a large crowd!
Remove and discard any excess fat from the pork. Using 2 forks, shred the pork.
Place the shredded pork in the sauce pan and mix with the BBQ sauce.
Toast the hamburger buns using the broiler for about 2-3 minutes until nice and brown.
Top buns with the saucy pork mixture, add a pickle if you like!
See how yummy, makes you want some huh?
Now I served this with a "special" cole slaw...which I'll share with your tomorrow!
So fire up the...hmmmm...slow cooker, and get you some BBQ pulled pork going! Enjoy!
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
1 c chili rub
1 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 bottle of BBQ sauce, North Carolina Style (I used "The Pit")
8 hamburger buns, toasted
pickle slices are optional
Rub your pork with the chili rub mixture, rubbing on all sides. Place pork in a 5 qt. slow cooker. Add apple cider vinegar and butter to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until very tender.
Remove from cooker and place pork on a cutting board. Let cool for several minutes.
Heat BBQ sauce in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Shred pork using forks. Place shredded pork inside the sauce pan stirring to coat completely. Allow to simmer while you prepare the sandwiches.
Toast hamburger buns in the broiler 2-3 min until golden brown. Top the bottom bun with pork mixture. Cover with the top bun. Serve with pickles if desired!