This post was last updated on February 25, 2015 to include new images.
You can bet I’ve eaten my weight in barbecue while living in Texas.
One meal I can’t quite get enough of is a good pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw on top. I had tried this sandwich a few times in California with mixed results, so I was very excited for our Texas time to enjoy some “real” barbecue.
Then I got home. And the itch hit again. I needed more.
This recipe isn’t too barbecue-y. It is more mild with a sweet hint of apples and a late kick of heat. It was a nice change of pace from the heavier barbecue pulled pork sandwiches from around here, but I am always happy to eat more Texas barbecue.
I’ve made this pulled pork in my dutch oven and in my new crock pot. Both work beautifully – it just depends on whether you wanna add the ingredients, hit “on” and walk away for 6 hours OR if you’d rather pop in the oven for a few hours.
Speaking of, these really are the best crock pot pulled pork sandwiches.
- 2 cups apple cider (or juice)
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1½ tsp. cumin
- 1½ tsp. paprika
- 1½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- optional: 4 tbsp. of your favorite barbecue sauce
- 1 medium onion, divided into eighths
- 2-3 lbs. pork shoulder, all ties removed (I used a pork shoulder butt roast)
- 4-6 sandwich buns (try these Egg Bread Buns if you'd like)
- If using crock pot:
- Add all the ingredients, starting with the pork, fat-side-up, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Turn the heat to Low. Cook for 6-7 hours, or until pork is tender and easily falls apart with a fork.
- If using dutch oven:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the apple cider, ketchup, brown sugar, optional barbecue sauce and spices and set aside.
- Place ½ of the sliced onions into the bottom of a 4-6-quart dutch oven. Place the pork shoulder on top the onions. Top the pork shoulder with the remaining onions and then pour sauce over everything. The pork shoulder need not be completely submerged to reach perfect pulled perfection, but you can add a little more apple cider if you'd like at this point.
- Cover and place in the oven for 2½ to 3 hours, depending on the size of your pork shoulder. Begin checking for doneness after about 2 hours. When done, the pork will easily pull apart from itself with a fork. Remove the meat and place onto a flat surface.
- Place the dutch oven on the stove (or move contents to a large pan) and heat to boiling to thicken.
- Once Pork Is Tender And Cooked:
- Pull the pork into shreds using two forks. Take care to remove the pieces of fat. Return the shredded pork to the sauce.
- Serve pulled pork piled high on a sandwich bun or just by itself. Top with some coleslaw if you'd like. It's really yummy!