BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

In Brooklyn, Model T is a classic butcher shop. It has the best meat and best prices. Lou, the butcher, is pretty much a one man show. He takes care of getting the meat, cutting, grounding, and anything else that you can imagine. Because of that, there’s usually a pretty long wait, filled with locals from the neighborhood.

This weekend, I waited about 30 minutes to get meat for our bbqs. That gave me a long time to figure out what to do with our extra Rudy’s BBQ sauce from a previous weekend. I decided to give pulled pork sandwiches a shot. Lou didn’t have any pork butt in display so he brought some out for me to look at. It turned out to be one of the best looking butts that I’ve ever seen. It was a deep red and marbled all the way through. I took 3 pounds. The guy next to me, who almost fainted at the sight of the butt, took the rest. Good butt looks like this.

The beauty of pulled pork is that you make it in a slow cooker. That means you pretty much dump everything into a pot and let it cook for a few hours. The length of time that you let it cook gives it the chance to really make the meat tender. So tender that it just shreds with two forks. Also, you can make this in advance, and it doesn’t require any grilling – great to save time when there’s going to be a crowded grill.

I found a recipe to take some inspiration from and modified it a bit to make it more simple. For my use, I didn’t need all those fancy ingredients because I was going to use BBQ sauce to flavor it after shredding.

So after mixing in the ingredients in a slow cooker and letting it cook for 6 hours, it came out perfectly. You’ll want to transfer it to a large bowl or flat area so that you can shred the pork with just two forks. I like to let it rest for a few minutes before shredding.

After I shred it up to the point where there are a few chunks, I transferred it back to the slower cooker to keep warm before serving. Then I poured in the BBQ sauce and shred some more. It should look like this when you’re all set.

You can serve this in many different ways – by itself, with chips and salsa, with cole slaw – we served them with buns. This batch turned out perfectly. Very tender and so delicious from the Rudy’s BBQ sauce that we used. Nothing beats a a good looking butt in between a soft pair of buns. Try it out for yourself.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (3 pound) pork shoulder/butt roast
  • 1 cup Rudy’s BBQ sauce + 1-2 cups extra for mixing
  • ½ cup vinegar (any will do)
  • ½ cup broth (optional, any will do)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 extra large onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons thyme (dried or fresh)
  • 8 hamburger buns, split
  • 2 tablespoons butter, or as needed

Directions

  1. Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbecue sauce, vinegar, and broth. Stir in the brown sugar, yellow mustard, chili powder, onion, and thyme. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours (low for 10hrs)
  2. Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks. Discard cooking liquid from slow cooker. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir in 1-2 cups of bbq sauce.
  3. Spread the inside of both halves of hamburger buns with butter. Toast the buns, butter side down, in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon pork into the toasted buns.

Chili-Lime Chicken Skewers

I love cooking with skewers, especially for chicken. Instead of grilling a big piece of chicken breast, cutting them up into smaller chunks gives it more flavor (if you’re using a marinade). It also grills faster and gives you more char per square inch, which mean even more delicious food.

For the chicken skewers, I wanted to give it a flavor profile that was refreshing with a kick since we had a heavier main course. I looked online and found inspiration from a Chili-Lime recipe. It was a good start, but then decided to make some modifications to my liking.

The flavor profile of the marinade is delicious. The marinade features two contrasting flavors that balance each other. The primary flavor is the spice from the chili pepper and minced garlic. The secondary flavor is the citrus sweetness from the lime and pineapple juice. The acidity from the citrus and the punch of the cilantro tempers the heat from the spice.

The recipe is simple too. You start out with the marinade, put in the chicken, wait an hour, skewer it, grill it, and then eat it. They cook quickly and come out perfectly. So juicy and flavorful that we had none left! Try it out –

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced with pulp
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup pineapple juice (or any citrus juice)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  • soaked skewers

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, pineapple juice, and lime juice. Season with chili powder, chipotle powder, paprika, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish with the sauce, and stir to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear. Turn every few minutes to give an even char.