Smoky Pork BBQ Sandwiches


  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. white distilled vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • ¼  cup plus 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce (we used Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse)
  • 4 hoagie rolls, split and toasted* (we used Cobblestone Bread Co. Philly Steak bread) (We spread Hellmann’s Real mayonnaise over the inside of the roll before toasting them and we loved the effect it had.)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (we didn’t measure how much mayonnaise we used) (we used Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise)
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (we used one bunch of cilantro)
  • 1 jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (we used 2)


  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven (we put our rack up in the top slot) and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl (a bowl with a 2-cup capacity will be big enough) add the radishes in, along with the vinegar, sugar and ¼ tsp. of salt, stirring to toss the radishes in the pickling mixture. Let the radishes marinate, tossing them around periodically so the slices get evenly pickled (the radishes turn this beautiful shade of pink when they get pickled, it really pops when it’s in the sandwich).
  2. Take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil** and place a rack on top of the lined baking sheet, spraying the rack with nonstick cooking spray*** afterwards. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the pork together with the two tablespoons of barbecue sauce along with the pepper and remaining salt. Form 16 balls from the ground pork mixture, placing them on the rack-lined baking sheet afterwards. Brush some of the remaining barbecue sauce over the top of the meatballs, sticking the meatballs in the oven for 10 minutes afterwards. Pull the meatballs out long enough to flip them over, brushing them with more barbecue sauce and sticking them back in the oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through (it took us longer than 12 minutes to reach 160 degrees).
  3. Spread mayonnaise over the cut sides of the toasted bread before adding the following ingredients in layers: pickled radish slices, meatballs (4 per sandwich), cilantro leaves, jalapeño slices, and roll tops. (We’d suggest adding cilantro on first so it gets stuck to the mayonnaise and doesn’t fall off the sandwich as easily, but it’s up to you to you really on how you choose to add the components to the sandwich.)

Serves 4.

*We suggest toasting right near the end of the cooking time so there’ll still be some crispiness or crunch to your toasted bread. Do it too early and the bread may get soft on you all over again before you even have a chance to enjoy the sandwich.

**The original recipe never mentions lining the baking sheet with aluminum foil but doing so will save you a ton of clean up since the sauce will drip some during the process of applying it and during the cooking of the meatballs.

***The original recipe also never mentions spraying the rack with nonstick cooking spray but we REALLY recommend doing it. The first time we cooked these and didn’t apply the nonstick spray, the meat really stuck to the rack when we went to flip the meatballs and it was a pain getting the rack cleaned afterwards. Applied the spray and the meatballs flipped so much easier, had barely any meat stick to the rack and cleaning was a lot easier.

These sandwiches are so freaking scrumptious ! The meatballs are tender, the barbecue adds a little bit of smoky sweetness, the jalapeño slices bring heat, pickled radishes bring a little bit of tang, and the cilantro brings its own signature taste that works perfectly with the other components. The bread, jalapeño slices and pickled radish slices bring some crunch and texture that contrasts against the tender meatballs, creamy mayonnaise, and cilantro leaves. It’s a sandwich we would love eating while watching the Super Bowl or as an everyday dish. You could also slice up the sandwich and serve it as a snack !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Jack Daniel’s, Cobblestone Bread Co., or Hellmann’s.

Take care everybody !

3 thoughts on “Smoky Pork BBQ Sandwiches”

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