© Dennis Prescott
June 22, 2017

Slowly braised in a delicious cocktail of sweet and tangy, this pulled pork is serious comfort food business. Top that with crispy fried pickles, serve it up on buttery brioche, and you’ve got yourself a knockout sandwich. The best part? There’s a very good chance you’ll have leftover pork for nacho-ing, taco-ing, ramen-ing, and a million other happy-inducing options. 

Saucy Pulled Pork & Panko-Crusted Dill Pickle Sandwiches

Serves a lot of hungry people 

Pork

  • 1 x 6-pound bone-in pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for the pork
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Fried Pickles

  • 2 cups sliced dill pickles
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs 
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Sea salt & fresh black pepper 

To serve

  • 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Brioche burger buns
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Crisp sandwich-sized lettuce leaves

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 

2. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking, to help warm it to room temp. 

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-heat. Rub the pork all over with the oil, then season liberally with sea salt. Sear the pork on all sides until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the pork, reserving the juices in the pan, and set aside on a plate. 

4. In the Dutch oven (still over medium-heat), add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, until translucent, then remove from the heat. Stir in all of the remain sauce ingredients, spices, and salt. Add the pork and any plate juices back to the Dutch oven and then transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat easily shreds with a fork, falls away from the bone, and your house smells like heaven. 

5. Remove the pork (discard the bone), and shred with 2 forks. Transfer the pork to a bowl, and then pour over all of those juices from the Dutch oven. Stir and set aside. 

6. Preheat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pot (or deep fryer) to 350 degrees F. 

7. Prepare 3 bowls; 1 with the flour, 1 with the eggs, and 1 with the panko, lemon zest, remaining spices and a pinch of sea salt. Working 1 or 2 pickle slices at a time, dredge the pickles in the flour, then the eggs, and lastly the panko, making sure that they’re nicely coating. Place the breaded pickles on a plate. 

8. Working in batches, fry the pickles for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown and crispy all over. Drain on paper towel to remove any excess grease. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper. 

9. Serve up the pork and pickles with toasty brioche buns, BBQ sauce, mayo, crisp lettuce, and slaw, if that suits your fancy. 

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