Pulled pork sandwiches make me think of summer barbecues. Even though you don't really barbeque pulled pork... it's more of a long boil in delicious sauce. But for some reason, eating pulled pork makes me think of piling my plate full of pot-luck style side dishes crowding a juicy sandwich in the middle and sitting on a folding chair in the sun. And it makes me happy.
Until this weekend, I hadn't attempted pulled pork. I thought it was best left up to people who know what they're doing. But it was calling to me for some reason and it had to be made. And it was. And all was right in my kitchen.
Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
I was making this for a baby shower get together this weekend and the mother-to-be can't stand the smell of garlic, so I omitted it from the original recipe. It was really really good this way and I'm sure it would be just as good (if not better) with the garlic added. I've written the recipe the way I made it, with a few other adjustments, but go here for the original version.
3.5 lb pork shoulder
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tsp chile powder
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp spicy mustard
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
Add all ingredients except bay leaf and pork the bowl of a food processor. Process until combined. Place the pork into a large Ziploc bag and add the sauce. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook the pork, remove it from the bag and place into a large heavy pot. Squeeze all (as much as you can) of the sauce into the pot over the pork. Add 4 cups of water and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let cook for about 2 hours, or until the pork easily pulls apart with 2 forks. While cooking, turn the pork every 15-20 minutes so that it cooks evenly.
When the pork is done, transfer it to a large baking sheet and carefully shred the pork using 2 forks. While shredding the pork, increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil. Let it cook until reduced by at least half and salt to taste. You want the sauce to be a little thick so that it clings to the pork. Once the pork is shredded and the sauce is reduced, return the pork to the pot and stir to combine with the sauce. Let it cook for about 15 minutes on low heat to further reduce the sauce and let the flavors come back together.
Serve on toasted hamburger buns. While sitting in the sun.