Sundays are for adventurous cooking. All’s quiet on the to-do list front. My house is clean…and all I want to do is mess up the kitchen. But let’s not go crazy! Afterall, God made ovens so I wouldn’t have to do all the work.
Barbecue Pulled Pork is one of the first recipes I tried to skinny down to a singleton budget. After weeks of perusing grocery stores, the smallest pork shoulder I could find weighed in at an astounding 4 pounds. That’s a lot for one person. At the time, Oklahoma didn’t have a Whole Foods type establishment, where you could custom order meat selections to fit your bill and your family table. For years, I would buy the 4 pound pork shoulder, trim it into 4 x 1-pound pieces, and lovingly package them for the freezer. It’s always nice to know that at any given moment, my freezer is filled with dozens of little packaged presents all for me! Today is no exception as I have a hankering for a down home Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich….but first you have to make the barbecue pulled pork. Oh yeah! Don’t skip the Honey Mustard Slaw. It’s a nice compliment adding a sweet, cidery bite that highlights all of the flavors in the pulled pork.
Cook Time: 2-2.5 hours
Serving: about 1/3 pound prepared (enough for 2 sandwiches)
1/2 pound pork shoulder
1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 – 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (I usually pick a maple mesquite style barbecue sauce for this)
1. Preheat the oven to 300°.
2. Wash, dry and season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in an oven safe pan.
2. Roughly chop the onion and garlic and add it to the pan.
3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter, EVOO, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper, dried oregano, chili powder. Stir to combine. Pour this over the meat and turn to coat all sides with the marinade.
4. Bake in a 300° oven for 1.5 – 2.5 hours, depending on your oven, until the meat is tender enough to be shredded with a fork. I like to turn the meat every 30 minutes to ensure it browns evenly on all sides. It’s also an opportunity to keep it glazed with the marinade.
5. Once the meat is fork tender, shred that bad boy as thin or as thick as you like it. If you want, you can add the marinade to the shredded meat for added flavor, but I usually discard it in favor of my favorite barbecue sauce.
Variation: Barbecue Pulled Pork meet Mr. Sandwich. You two were MFEO made for each other! With a little Honey Mustard Slaw, it just might be love at first sight!