Pulled pork is one of my favorite things. Unfortunately, it’s not always made right. A number of things depend upon the meal turning out well. First off, it should be pretty sloppy. It’s like the one better than a Sloppy Joe sandwich. Second, the sauce has to be just right. The cut of pork needs to be just right. So, I stopped into my local grocer and talked to the butcher. He was more than happy to help me select my meat cut and walk me through all I need to do. This was my first time cooking this. I usually order it out, but it’s expensive and not everyone does a great job.
Some people do this in a slow cooker, but I only have a really small one. I’m not about to buy another when I don’t have storage for it, and I’m on a budget (saving for a house). The pork cut was inexpensive. I already had the sauce and other ingredients at home.
What you will need: 1 shoulder pork cut with the bone in (thawed), your favorite barbecue sauce (choose wisely), onions, 4 garlic cloves, oil, large pot, roasting pan, meat fork, standard heavy dining/cooking fork, wooden stir, a sharp knife, salt and pepper. Italian rolls for serving and your favorite barbecue sides (like corn on the cob, sweet potato fries and coleslaw). Lastly, you’ll need patience and arm strength.
If you’re planning this for dinner, it’s a good idea to start it in the late morning. Depending on the roast it’s going to take hours.
- Preheat oven to 250°.
- Lightly oil the roasting pan and pork shoulder. Set in shoulder in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 3-3.5 hours.
- When the roast is through cooking, it should easily pull off the bone. You can let it cool before you start shredding, so you can handle the meat more easily.
- While you wait for the meat to cool, slice 1 medium onion in 1/8″ rounds. Dice the garlic cloves. Sauté in vegetable or olive oil until golden and translucent. Use the large pot (enough to hold the meat, too. You’ll add it here in step 6). Set aside the cooked onions and garlic.
- Begin the shredding process of the meat. This might not be as easy as a lot of recipes make it out. It’s determined by the cut of meat. The one I prepared took a little effort to work. You’ll need strong arms and hands, as well as a sturdy fork. Don’t be afraid to slice the meat into hunks and shred it with your fingers.
- Place the shredded pork in the large pot with the onions and garlic. Add the barbecue sauce until everything is well coated (it’s a lot so be prepared to use a whole bottle/batch).
- On medium/medium low, cook the pork for about 5-10 minutes until the sugars in the sauce have set up.
- Serve on the Italian rolls and with your favorite sides as suggested above.
Note: The batch will make about 12-14 sandwiches depending on the size of the shoulder you get. Since it’s so cheap, go ahead and get a good sized one. You can freeze the leftovers for weeknight quick meals.
Do you need a great barbecue sauce? For store bought, I recommend the Jack Daniels original or Hickory. If you want a recipe, here is the one my mom created:
Basic Barbecue Sauce:
- 1-Cup Molasses
- 1-Cup Mustard
- 1-Cup Vinegar
- 1-Cup Ketchup
(for heat, add 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce to each 1/4 cup made)
- Simmer on low until ready to boil and thickened.
- add seasonings to taste: minced garlic/onion, salt, pepper, etc.