Yield 4 servings / Time 4 hours
When it comes to cravings, pulled pork sandwiches come to mind. They take a while to make, yes, but it’s not hard work. You braise a pork butt in the oven for a good long while. You let it cool. Then you shred. And then you add your signature touches to this classic sammy. In this month’s recipe, the signatures includes a warm BBQ sauce and, of course, slaw. The trick here is that the slaw is not just tossed with vinegar, but actually pickled. It sits in a brine in your fridge as the pork braises. The result is pretty remarkable. Word to the wise: Don’t forget extra napkins.
You will need:
For the Pork:
1 whole pork butt, bone in or out, approximately 3 pounds
1 onion, rough chopped
2 whole jalapenos (optional)
1 head of garlic, cut in half
4 cups stock
For the BBQ Sauce:
Salt and pepper
2 cups ketchup
1 cup cola
½ cup cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sriracha or other hot sauce
For the Pickled Slaw:
½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon allspice berries (optional)
1 tablespoon chili flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons mustard seeds (optional)
For the Sandwiches:
- Preheat oven to 325 F, then salt the pork all over.
- In a large Dutch oven, place the pork, chopped onion, jalapeno, garlic, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and braise in the oven 3 ½ to 4 hours, until fork tender.
- While the pork braises, around hour three, make vinegar slaw. Combine shaved cabbage and shredded carrot in a large mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons salt and set aside.Then, make a pickle brine. Put vinegar, sugar, and optional spices in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes. Strain, then pour brine over the raw cabbage mix. Cool, cover, and refrigerate until sandwich assembly.
- Remove fork tender pork from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. As it cools, make the BBQ sauce by combining ketchup, cola, cider vinegar, and hot sauce in a pot over medium heat. Stir, bring to a simmer, and let cook 10 to 15 minutes until slightly thickened. You want a consistency not quite as thick as ketchup. Keep warm until ready to use.
- Pull cooled pork into shreds. (Strain and reserve cooking liquid; you can freeze and use in any recipe that calls for stock.)
- To assemble the sandwiches, add warm BBQ sauce to the pulled pork. Season with salt and pepper. Toast the rolls. Place a generous serving of pork to each roll. Top with pickled slaw.