Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 24, 2017
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Roasted pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches

Start-to-finish time: 8 to 11 hours


Here, a boneless pork shoulder is rubbed with a handful of seasonings and then roasted slow and low until it’s so tender it can be “pulled” apart with forks. Any leftover pork freezes well.


1 4½-lb. (2-kg) boneless pork shoulder (also called a Boston butt), tied
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chili powder
1 tbsp. (15 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp. (5 ml) light brown sugar
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) onion powder
a pinch cayenne pepper
homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce
12 hamburger buns


Pat the pork dry with paper towels and place on a work surface. Combine the chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, onion powder and cayenne. Rub the mixture all over the roast. Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8.

Arrange a rack in the center position of the oven; preheat to 300°F (150°C). Remove the plastic wrap and place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan/tray that is large enough to hold it comfortably.

Roast until you can pierce all surfaces of the pork very easily with a sharp knife and a thermometer registers 190°F (88°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the roast, 4 to 4¼ hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes.

Using two table forks, “pull” the pork into shreds. (The pork can be prepared 2 days ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet/tray, sprinkle lightly with a little water, cover with foil and reheat in a 350°F (180°C) oven until warm, 20 minutes.)

Serve the pork mounded on hamburger buns and drizzled generously with barbecue sauce. Pass extra sauce separately. Makes 12 large sandwiches.

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