not so long ago on September 6th, my wedding anniversary, my husband walked beside me while a nurse wheeled me out to his car, my mouth stuffed with gauze and a very fuzzy tongue. the ride home was pretty jovial, since the drugs i’d been given for my wisdom teeth extraction surgery hadn’t yet begun to wear off.
i wasn’t in any shape to do this then, so finally, here’s a sandwich dedicated to my love; my husband of four years, my best friend for ten.
and to our BFF Joel (my husband’s best friend since childhood), whom i love dearly also. this recipe is brought to you by a day’s worth of tending to pork by me, and an afternoon of barbecue-sauce coaxing by Joel. excellent combo!
i like pulled pork a LOT. i love it! pork rules. i’ve tried a lot of different ways to cook it, each promising to be awesomer, crispier, juicier, and more tender than the next. i don’t own a smoker, so smoking a pork shoulder low-and-slow is out of the question (unless we’re at Joel’s house during the summer months — he has one). slow-cooker method? no crispy outer shell, a bit too… steamy. so i needed another method to try, because my husband loves pulled pork sandwiches, and i love my husband. down from the shelf came my Momofuku cookbook, written by the king of pork, David Chang. he knew exactly what i should do!
have you ever noticed that pork smells so amazing when it’s cooking? i applaud pork for this because there are some meats that don’t entice me much with their aromas while cooking. poached chicken, for example… or steamed salmon. but pork breakfast sausage smells? heck yes! pork just keeps on giving — if you have clean laundry hanging up to dry on your laundry racks, like i did on the day i slow-roasted this pork, the smell will linger long after the last bite has been devoured.
[haha... sometimes i get to the gym and i'm like.... pork? is that you? and there will be the smell of last night's dinner, clinging to my clean clothes. i'm like a dinnersforwinners smellevision advertisement everywhere i go.]
this is the easiest method i’ve tried for roasting pork, and The Best. wow, tender and so flavorful, abundantly juicy and with a crispy-crackly outer shell.. pretty perfect! i hope you’ll give this simple method a whirl, and leave a comment telling me what you turned your pulled pork into. sandwiches?.. tacos?.. breakfast burritos, or David Chang-style in a big bowl of ramen? oh my goodness what about a pile of nachos!
my husband declared these sandwiches to be the best pulled pork he’d eaten, and it made me happy that it was so easy to cook a dinner he loved. i don’t know the recipe for Joel’s barbecue sauce that he gifted to us, but definitely try making your own — easy and customizable!
eight-hour pulled porkadapted from Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan don’t be sticking your nose in the oven like i did, worried at the sheer amount of fat still visible 4 hours into the roasting process. it is actually rendering out, slowly, and leaving a pork-rind style crispy shell behind! amazing.
- 3 – 4 pound boneless pork shoulder
- 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon kosher salt per pound of pork
mix sugar and salt together in a bowl and rub all over pork shoulder. cover and chill for 6 – 24 hours.
place shoulder in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet and roast in a 250F oven for 7 – 8 hours, checking at 6 if your shoulder is on the smaller side.
let it rest for 30 minutes, then shred with a fork.
pork can be made ahead and kept refrigerated in an air-tight container. i thought it reheated beautifully in a skillet.
for these sandwiches, i tossed the warm pork with Joel’s barbecue sauce and made a quick slaw from shredded red and green cabbages, a dollop of mayonnaise, a squeeze of dijon mustard, and a splash of white wine vinegar.
we used whole-wheat buns because we wanted potato chips. ha! enjoy.