Something about the summertime always leaves me craving pulled pork sandwiches. I think it's because when I was small my Grandpa would have us over for pulled pork sometimes and I always remember those days being nice and warm and sunny. He always got the pulled pork pre-made (which is too bad because as a southern Indiana man he probably knew some people with pretttty good pulled pork recipes), but a few years ago I tried my hand at making it from scratch and just loved the results. First off, for a $12 pork roast, you end up with a LOT of sandwiches. Secondly, they all taste completely amazing. Like, I'd rather sit here eating this pork than watch the series finale of Lost without this pork amazing. So I decided to try making it again but threw some pickled beets I'd made using Alton Brown's recipe onto the sandwich and my God, was I glad I did. The sweet & sour flavors of the soft, pickled beets really complemented the tangy, smokey flavors of the pulled pork. I love this pulled pork recipe, too, because of how moist the pork is and the softer texture that comes from mixing the caramelized onions into the pork meat. Mmmmm pork meat. Nestled up next to a grilled cob of corn, nothing could taste more like summer.
3.5 lbs Pork Shoulder or Butt Roast
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Apple Juice
1/3 Cup of Your Favorite Barbeque Sauce (mine's Famous Dave's)
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Pickled Beets (optional)
1 Cup Shredded Cabbage (optional)
Preheat the oven to 280 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large dutch oven, mix together the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and remaining spices. Mix in the chopped onions until they're coated in the juice, then push them to the sides of the dutch oven leaving an empty space in the center of the pan. Place the pork roast in the center of the dutch oven and rub some of the liquid mixture into the meat, drizzling some with a spoon into the holes. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 3 hours. Then raise the heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for another hour. Then place the lid on the dutch oven and cook for another two hours (this helps keep the roast from drying out). Total cooking time should be 6 hours.
Serve the pulled pork on whole wheat buns with pickled beets, fresh shredded cabbage, and a dab of extra barbeque sauce.