Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Carolina Heat Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ever since I first attended Ottawa’s Annual Chicken and Rib Fest I’ve been an avid admirer of pulled pork.  Pulled pork is a form of barbecue where a roast cut such as butt or shoulder is cooked using a slow cook method.  With the longer cooking times at low temperatures, the meat becomes tender enough that it can be pulled apart or shredded. 

Some of the more flavorful pulled pork I’ve sampled over the years has been smoked.  Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in Atlanta Georgia or Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse and The Smoque Shack here in Ottawa serve up some of the best!

Fat Matt's Rib Shack's Pulled Pork Sandwich

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's Pulled Pork Sandwich

Ottawa's Own Smoque Shack's Pulled Pork Sandwich
With the cold weather that Ottawa has been experiencing as of late, I was really craving some summer type food and pulled pork on a Sunday afternoon was just what the doctor ordered.  However, with my barbecue tucked away for the winter and the colder temperatures, smoking the pork wasn’t really an option.  So I turned to my oven to see if I could yield some equally good results. 

My Carolina Heat Pulled Pork Sandwich
I must say, by roasting the pork in the oven at 300oF for almost 5 hours (I could have even done it at 275 for a slower roast) and using this amazing Carolina styled (mustard and vinegar based) BBQ sauce, one would swear they were just served a true southern styled smoked pulled pork sandwich!  Give this recipe a try and I’m sure you will agree!

Pork shoulder roast cooked to perfection

Pulled and ready to be served
Carolina Heat Pulled Pork Sandwiches


Dry Rub
This stuff is absolutely amazing and I use it all the time for grilling chicken or pork cuts on the grill.  I’ve also used it to season chicken wings and roasted potatoes.  I make this rub in bulk and keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use it whenever I need to.
  • 2 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp ground sage
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
 Carolina Heat BBQ Sauce

Carolina Heat BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke (hickory flavoring)
Cole Slaw
  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrots, grated
  • 1 green pepper, grated
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp poppy seeds
  1. Mix the paprika, pepper, onion powder, brown sugar, chili powder, salt, sage, nutmeg and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.  Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300oF.  Put the pork in a roasting pan, cover and roast it for about 6 hours until meat is falling apart.
  3. While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the mustard, sugar, brown sugar, cider vinegar, chili powder, black pepper, white pepper and cayenne in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.  Stir in soy sauce, butter and liquid smoke and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit until roast is ready.
  4. To make the slaw, combine the cabbage, carrot, onion and green pepper in a large bowl.  In another bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, olive oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and poppy seeds.  Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix.  Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
  5. When the pork is done, take it out of the oven and let meat rest for 10 minutes.  While the pork is still warm, take 2 forks and while using one of the forks to steady the meat, use the other to "pull" shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a large bowl use the sauce to thoroughly coat it.
  6. To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of a hamburger bun, and top with slaw.

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