Recipe 23.3: Smoky Pulled Pork Sandwiches
I made these sandwiches to feed our moving day helpers and it was the perfect meal. I started it the night before, let the meat rest overnight, then threw it into the crock pot early in the morning. By mid-day, our lunch was ready! I just had to shred and serve. Such a great, delicious and easy meal! This is what our house looked like when I started making the pork:
6 to 8 lb. pork shoulder (I used two smaller pieces of meat because I was on a time crunch since this was for lunch. If it was for dinner, I would have done just one larger piece)
1/4 cup water
Spice rub (from Cook’s Illustrated):
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or up to 2 tsp if you like it spicy)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons salt
Mix together the spice rub in a large bowl, stirring with a fork to combine the spices thoroughly. Add the pork shoulder and rub spice mix over the pork until all sides of the pork is fully covered in the spice rub. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (the longer the pork is allowed to marinate, the stronger the flavor will be).
On cooking day, remove the pork shoulder from the bowl and place it in the Crock Pot. Add the ¼ cup of water and turn the heat on low. Cover the pot with the lid and allow to cook for an hour. Turn the pork shoulder over after an hour and continue to cook for another hour. Turn the pork shoulder over one more time and let it continue to cook for another four hours. After six hours, check to see if the pork is starting to tenderize. If it is, shred the pork using a fork (or tongs) and stir the shredded meat around in the sauce created during the slow roasting. Cook for another 30 minutes to an hour (depending on your crock pot). And, you’ll see that you don’t even need any barbecue sauce! The rub and the water do all the magic for you!
Serve on hamburger or ciabatta buns, along with sliced red onion and pickles, potato chips and fruit.