Super Bowl-worthy BBQ Pork Sandwiches
|February 4, 2010||Posted by Jacob under Entertaining, What's for Dinner|
A staple of picnic fare in the summer, BBQ pork is also great grab-and-go comfort food for a party any time of the year. But how do you make the best barbecue pork sandwiches for your Super Bowl shindig? It’s simple: be patient.
Instruction 1: Read the whole recipe before you start, like two days before you start. This is a two day recipe; good BBQ takes time. The next step is choosing your meat. There are two options I recommend: the first is a nice pork shoulder roast, the second is St. Louis-style ribs. The shoulder roast is what I’ll work with here. Check my blog for the rib recipe.
Preheat your oven to 425f and leave the pork shoulder to start to come to room temp while you prep the following. Start with a good 3 lbs. or more pork shoulder and give it a good rubdown with spices (these will compliment our BBQ sauce later). A quick solution would be Penzeys BBQ 3000, but we are not here for quick. We are here for awesome, the best BBQ pork sandwiches ever. I suggest whipping up the following (any extra can be stored in an airtight jar for later use):
BBQ Spice Blend
- 1pt Salt
- 1pt Black Pepper
- 1pt Mustard Powder
- 2pt Cayenne Pepper
- 2pt Oregano
- 2pt Cumin
- 3pt Ancho Chili Powder
- 3pt Garlic Powder
- 3pt Paprika
- 6pt Brown Sugar
- 1pt Garam Masala, Baalti Seasoning, or Chinese Five Spice Powder
I designed this recipe to be quickly scalable, so you can make any amount you want. The ingredients are listed as “pt” or ‘part’ so for every 1 tsp of salt you would use 1 tsp of black pepper, 2 tsp of oregano, etc. You could use tablespoons or even cups if you like.
I recommend that you use 1 pt = 1 tbl, which will give you just over a cup and a half of the rub. Mix this all together very well. Set aside about ¼ cup of the spice mix, as we will need it later.
And now for the first messy part: Rub as much of the spice mix as you can get to stick onto the pork. A good heavy coat is what we are looking for. Place this into the 425f oven for 15-20 minutes until the outside begins to brown and smells like the fine spices.
Turn the over down to 200f and cook until done, or an internal temperature of about 150f. That’s a nice medium that will carry over to medium-well.
Remove the roast from the oven, put it in the fridge and go to bed. Leave it on the pan/ in the dish where you baked it; we will want the drippings and roast bits later. We will finish this tomorrow. (Right now all of you who did not listen to the first instruction up top are kicking yourselves huh?)
Day two! Making the actual BBQ sauce.
- 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Medium Poblano Pepper
- 1 Hot Pepper (your choice, but … habañero!)
- 1 Large Red Onion
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp Tomato Paste
- ¼ cup Whiskey or Rum
- ¼ cup of the Spice Rub Above
- ¼ cup Vinegar
- Drippings from the Pork Roast
Start your peppers roasting in a 425-450f oven. Slice your onions and mince the garlic; place them both into a pre-heated a pan with a little oil over medium heat. Saute until the onions begin to brown (this process goes faster the less you stir).
Once your peppers are charred and blackened on the outside and your onions are nice and caramelized, remove the seeds from the peppers and place all the veggies in the food processor. Process; set aside for now.
Back to that pan that had the onions in it. You may notice that it now has some brown and black bits stuck to it — these bits are full of flavor. Turn the heat down to low add the whiskey or rum and gently with a wooden spoon or spatula work the bits off of the bottom of the pan.
(Two important things here. First, don’t use a silver rum, it just won’t taste right. A dark rum or spiced rum is much better. Second, if you are on a gas stove, use extreme caution or else you may flambé your hand. In the event that the pan does catch fire, don’t worry, just step back an wait, a 1/4 cup will only burn for a minute or two).
Now add the vinegar and tomato paste. Any vinegar or a combination of the following would work well: raspberry, apple, fig, Spanish red wine, aged balsamic. Stir these all together and add the drippings from the roast.
If every thing was cooked correctly the drippings should be a congealed meat Jell-o with floaty white/orange fat globs on top — YUM! Send all of the fat to the waste basket (unless you want to make popovers) and gently scrape the meat jell-o into the pan of alcohol, vinegar and tomato paste. Bring this mixture to a boil and add to the food processor. Process.
Pour your nice smooth puree pour into a 2-3 qt pot. Give it a quick taste and adjust the seasoning by adding the spice rub (you want this to be intense). Let that start to come to a simmer over low heat.
Take the meat wad — er, cooked shoulder of pork — and using a couple of nice-sized forks take out pre-party aggression by shredding through the meat. Stab it in the middle and drag the other fork across the roast. It should pull apart without too much difficulty.
Take these fine filaments of fresh chilled pork and place them into the simmering sauce. Once all the pork is in, stir very well and adjust the seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper. Allow this to warm and serve on toasty buns for everyone.