I’ve made good pulled pork in my trusty slow cooker, but this is
my new favorite method. Rubbing the pork in a spice blend and then roasting it packs
in so much flavor before it even touches the sauce. And simmering the shredded
pork in the sauce for a short while gives a chance for the flavors of the meat
and the sauce to mingle, while still retaining some of the brightness from the
sauce. It works much better for me than cooking the pork and the sauce together
over a long period of time.
Total time required: 9 hours
Active preparation time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
For the roast:
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried mustard powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3- to 4-pound pork butt or shoulder roast
6 to 8 potato, brioche, or challah rolls
For the coleslaw:
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
12 ounces (about 1/3 of a head) green cabbage, shredded
½ large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into matchstick julienne
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick julienne
½ apple, peeled and cut into thin slices, about ¼ inch by 1 inch
Kosher salt, to taste
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, slice thin lengthwise
1 poblano pepper, slice thin lengthwise
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
15 ounces canned crushed tomatoes, with their juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch ground cloves
1 chipotle pepper, mashed into a paste
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (I like La Morena brand – it has no preservatives, MSG, or corn syrup)
- In a large bowl, mix together all the rub ingredients. Roll the pork in the rub mix, massaging the rub into the surface and any little crevices or openings. Let the pork sit at room temperature for about 1 hour, or in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven 300°F. Place pork in a roasting pan and roast for about 7 hours, or until fork tender. After the first 3 hours, cover roast loosely with aluminum foil.
- While the pork is roasting, prepare the coleslaw and sauce:
- Coleslaw: Mix the buttermilk, lemon juice, celery salt, mustard, mustard seeds, vinegar, and mayonnaise until well-combined. Reserve any remaining dressing. Toss the dressing with the cabbage, pepper, carrot, and apple until well-moistened. Salt to taste and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, taste the coleslaw, salting it and adding dressing, as needed.
- Sauce: Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onions, poblano peppers, and a good pinch of salt. Stir the vegetables occasionally to let them soften without browning them (see Sweating Vegetables video for a detailed demonstration). After 3 or 4 minutes, add the garlic and cook them until softened.
- Mix together the remaining sauce ingredients and stir into the skillet with the onions, peppers, and garlic. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- When the pork is done, let it rest for about 10 minutes and then shred it apart using two forks.
- Stir the shredded pork into the skillet and stir to combine with the sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors of the pork and the sauce to combine.
- Slice the rolls in half, filling them with the shredded pork and coleslaw.