One example of a truly enjoyable and simple dinner at our house is the pulled pork sandwich. For us, making pulled pork is not a long laborious process of marinating, basting or brining or any such delicate treatments. We don’t make our own sauce. We keep it super, super simple. We start with a decent (usually on sale) shoulder blade roast of pork, an onion, and some of our favorite store-bought barbecue sauce.
When the pulled pork is all ready to go, we pile it high on a nice fluffy white bun or sesame seed roll roll, top it with a bit more sauce, and serve it with something equally simple. In the photo above, the side was some leftover pasta salad that my dear Mum had sent over. Usually it’s some bagged slaw with a very quick homemade dressing or maybe cucumber and carrot sticks. If we’re having a low key dinner like pork ‘sammies’ (as they’re more likely to be called at our house), we don’t get so fussy with the sides, you know?
Now, while I like to keep this recipe easy since it’s one of my go-to “instant” dinner items, there are others who take their pulled pork more seriously. If you’re looking for a heavy duty recipe, you can check out this one by Rachel, which is awesome but not really what I had in mind for a really quick and easy family dinner.
I also know that barbecue sauce, to some, can be a carefully guarded family secret and the thought of using store-bought practically a sacrilege. That said – do any of you have a favorite store-bought barbecue sauce? I usually use Diana’s Original Sauce but have splurged on occasion and picked up a bottle of the finer stuff. I think I’ve tried Stubbs brand and also Bone Daddy’s, which I really liked but the kiddos found too spicy. So, choose your absolute favorite sauce for this recipe. The sauce totally makes the dish — and then tell us in the comments the brand of your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce so that we might all share in the glory that is a truly wonderful pulled pork sammy!
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 3 lb shoulder blade pork roast (sometimes called the butt roast)
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
salt and pepper
If you can, try to let your roast come to room temperature before you prepare it. Slice the onion into somewhat thin slices (you don’t need to get fancy, remember). Put it in the slow cooker. Liberally season the pork with salt and pepper and then put it in the slow cooker on top of the onions. Squeeze about 1/3 of the bottle of sauce all over the pork and the onions. Add 1/4 cup of water .. or if you have chicken broth around, use that. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
Remove the roast from the cooker to a bowl along with any drippings and onions that you can get from the pot. Using two forks and starting near the centre of the roast, start to pull or pry the meat away from itself and any bones. Continue pulling the strands of the meat into long, thin pieces. Pour another 2/3 or more of the bottle of barbecue sauce on the pulled pork, mixing and coating all of the pieces until they seem ‘saucy’.
Warm or toast your bun, if you like. Cut it open and top with a generous pile of pulled pork. Squeeze the remainder of the barbecue sauce on your sandwiches. Return the tops of the buns to their rightful bottoms and serve your sammy with a side of slaw or salad of your choice.