Sunday, 14 April 2013

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Bailey is totally going to kill me for this blog. She thinks we have been way too heavy on the swine blogs of late, and she's right. But I'm a sale shopper when it comes to meat, and pork is what they're practically giving away this week at my local grocer. I thought we were a little red pepper heavy a few weeks ago, but I didn't hear her complaining about that since she loves red pepper so much! And when you can pick up a nice pork shoulder roast for $4.00, then that's God telling me to make a slow roast, pulled pork sandwich dinner. I don't think a family could get take out anything for a mere Four Dollars!

And today, I declared it a "Me Day", so this day was dedicated to my own pleasure. And why not? I've been working hard and just endured my 53rd Canadian winter, so I wasn't about to stress myself today. Pulled pork is a meal that you can make without having to peel a potato, or break out a whisk, but the oooohs and ahhhhs you get will please you immensely. And your family will swoon with delight. So let's get started.

You need a picnic style pork roast. I don't know what that exactly means. But it will shred up for you unlike a tenderloin or a loin roast. Get it with the bone in and the fat cap on it. Get a butt cut if you can, but a shoulder will do. (hahah butts rule!) It needs a spice rub. And pulled pork aficionados will insist you use a butt and smoke it and so on. And if I were ever to go to Memphis on vacay and dine on this speciality, that`s what I would insist on. But since I live in Canada, and this is just a meal for my family, and I don`t see myself competing on Top Chef, we're go to do this pedestrian style.

For my spice rub, I just used my Cajun seasoning that I had on hand. I make my own you know. That's sort of a joke because I'm too cheap to buy the already made Cajun seasoning. You can look up the Jambalaya recipe in this blog to see what that is. Or you can just make up your own blend. Rub your roast all over with olive oil and massage the spice blend onto the meat. Put it in the oven uncovered at 275 degrees for 6 hours. Or 7. No less than 6 and no more than 8.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool down enough to handle. Remove the fat and the bone and discard. Now some recipes will tell you to shred the meat with two forks, but where is the love in that? They aren't called Shredded Pork Sandwiches! They are Pulled Pork Sandwiches. So take the time to break it all down with your fingertips. Pull it apart! Discard all the yucky fatty bits and throw away any of the tough outer bits that are too crispy from the roasting process.

Now here is where I'm certain I am not doing this Memphis style, But this is what tastes the best to me. I used Ciabetta buns because they have enough body to sustain themselves for a moist sandwich. I slice them and butter them and put them under the broiler just to toast them a bit. I mix just enough barbecue sauce into the pulled pork to moisten it. Not too much. And you can make your own or use a good quality store bought one. Spoon the meat onto the bun and add a bit more barbecue sauce. Serve with sides of coleslaw and baked beans. Some people like to put the coleslaw right on the sandwich and to me, that's awesome. Skip a step right there! Why bother forking it into your mouth if you can ingest it in the same bite as your sandwich? So I do that now too.

This is easy and fun and delicious! People will beg you to make it again and again. So sorry about that Bailey. Swine really does rule the world!

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