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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Barbecue Sauce

Roasted garlic seasons this pork shoulder, which slow-cooks until tender and deeply flavorful. Shred it and top with barbecue sauce, coleslaw and a spicy habanero vinaigrette for the perfect sandwich.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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pulled pork
  • 2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • One 5-pound, bone-in pork butt (shoulder roast)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup cola
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Split potato buns, Red-and-Green Coleslaw and Habanero Vinegar, for serving


  1. Make the Pork Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the garlic cut side up on a sheet of foil, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in the foil and roast for about 
1 hour, until very soft. Let cool, then squeeze the garlic cloves out of the skins into a medium bowl. Add the thyme, mustard powder, paprika, ginger, orange zest and the 1/4 cup of oil and mash into a paste. 

  2. Make the Pork Reduce the oven temperature to 300°. Set a rack in a flameproof medium roasting pan and put the pork on it. Season the pork with salt and pepper, then rub it all over with the garlic paste. Cover with foil and roast for 6 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 200°; uncover for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Transfer to a work surface and let cool, then shred. Discard the fat and bones.

  3. Make the Pork Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the roasting pan. Add the sugar, both vinegars and 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cook over moderately high heat, whisking, until bubbling and the sugar dissolves, 
5 minutes. Add the pork and toss to coat. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper and toss again; keep warm.

  4. Meanwhile, Make the Sauce In a saucepan, whisk the ketchup, cola, vinegar, hot sauce, molasses and cornstarch and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until glossy and thick, 
8 minutes; keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, Make the Sauce Pile the pork on the buns and top with the barbecue sauce and coleslaw. Close the sandwiches and serve, passing the habanero vinegar at the table.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat gently before serving.?

Suggested Pairing

Nothing goes better with pulled pork than beer from a can. Look for Blue Point's Summer Ale or Sierra Nevada's Summerfest.

Photo © Con Poulos Published August 2014

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