- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 4-inch pieces (With the size of our pork, this meant it was just going to get cut in half and that just seemed too big to get cooked in the time listed so we cut each half in half.)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped (we used yellow onion)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 hamburger buns or potato rolls (we used whole-wheat hamburger buns)
- Coleslaw and pickle slices for serving (we used Chipotle-Lime Slaw and the Fire And Ice Pickles)
- Take a bowl out and mix the following ingredients in it until combined: brown sugar, mustard powder, allspice, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Take half of the spice mixture and rub it all over the pork. Place the pork in a resealable plastic bag and place it in the fridge for 1 to 4 hours (we put ours in the fridge for a little over 2 ½ hours).
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (we moved our rack down one from the middle). Take a large Dutch oven and pour the oil into it, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, add the pork in and let it cook for 8 minutes or until browned all over, turning occasionally (we browned each side for 1-2 minutes). For ourselves, we could only fit 2 pieces in at a time and we had to pour a little more oil into the Dutch oven before browning the other two pieces of pork. Once the pork’s browned take it out of the Dutch oven and place it on a plate for now.
- Toss the onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper into the Dutch oven, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until the onions have softened. Add the tomato paste and the other half of the spice mixture in, continuing to stir for another 2 minutes. Add in the chicken broth, ketchup, vinegar and 2 cups of water, stirring to combine. Tear 1 bun into pieces and throw that into the Dutch oven as well. Add the pork back in and wait for simmering to occur.
- Put the lid on the Dutch oven and place it in the oven. Cook for 2 hours or until the pork’s really tender (took 2 ½ hours* for us). Take the lid off the Dutch oven and cook it in the oven for 20 additional minutes or until the sauce thickens a little (we called it good at the 20 minute mark). Take the meat out and shred it using 2 forks. Place the shredded meat in a large mixing bowl and add enough sauce into the bowl so all of the pork gets coated in it. Serve the pork on buns, topped with coleslaw and pickles.
If you don’t want to cook this in the oven, the original recipe offers a slow cooker option where you follow the directions until the end of step 3, using only ½ onion and omitting the water. Place everything in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW heat for 7 hours. We haven’t tried this method ourselves but we felt like we should tell you about it just in case you’d rather use this method instead.
*We checked at the 2 hour mark and when we saw that it wasn’t “really tender” we flipped the pieces of pork over and cooked it for another 30 minutes.
We love this recipe. The meat has a sweetness and some spice to it but it’s more on the subtle side. While we were shredding it, we couldn’t keep our hands off of it. We MIGHT have ate more than we should have. It’s like chips, you can’t stop at just one ! Once the sauce is added on though, it amplifies the flavor. The coleslaw adds a crunch and some definite heat to the sandwich. All the flavors and the crunch from the pickle come through and work well with the other components. The crunch from the toppings is a nice contrast against the tender meat.
Recipe source unknown.
Take care everybody !