Habanero, Rum and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Habanero, Rum and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe by Spicie Foodie

My husband and I often talk about American foods he grew up eating and Mexican foods I ate as a child. Many times we end up discovering foods from each other’s culture’s that we hadn’t heard of. For the most part, because we currently live in Europe and many Mexican ingredients aren’t available here, I can only describe or show him photos online of the Mexican foods I tell him about. He does the same for me and we often see that it is easier for us to recreate those new American foods for me to try.

It’s funny because from the time we started dating we have introduced each other to so many foods. I guess I never really stopped to think about it, but we have been foodies all of our lives — and together we share a common interest in tasting new and exotic cuisines.

Habanero, Rum and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe by Spicie Foodie

One of the new, and exotic, foods he introduced me to was pulled pork sandwiches. Before him I had neither heard of, nor tasted, one of these barbecued sandwiches. The introduction was a result of one of our many food talks and his craving for pulled pork. Together we Googled it before deciding on a recipe —  actually it was several recipes that we used to make my first pulled pork sandwiches. That was many years ago and now they’ve become part of our meal repertoire that I make as a special treat for us.

I wish I had kept track of all the recipes that I used to base mine on, but I didn’t. Over the years I have changed and tweaked this and that to end up with the recipe you see here, of course I had to add a little Mexican touch with the habanero peppers. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.

Habanero, Rum and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe by Spicie Foodie

5.0 from 10 reviews
Habanero, Rum and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The American pulled pork sandwich gets a touch of Mexico with habanero peppers. These habanero, rum and molasses pulled pork sandwiches are spicy, sweet and salty goodness!
Recipe type: Sandwich, Lunch, Dinner, Fusion, Slow-Roasted
Cuisine: American
Pork Ingredients:
  • 500 grams or 1 lb pork shoulder, roast or tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • ½ cup water
  • 1-2 red habanero pepper, stem removed and cut in 4 pieces*
  • 2 tsp. whole cumin seed
  • 2 tsp. whole fennel seed
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard seed
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 cups or 500 ml Chicken broth (low sodium and no-msg)
  • ⅓ cup of rum
  • 4 tbsp molasses
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tbsp sunflower oil
Pork Instructions:
  1. I like to cut off any extra fat from the pork, but you can leave it if you like. Mix the water and molasses in a container enough to fit pork, set aside. Grind the spices and Habanero pepper in a blender with a little bit of water until they are well incorporated. With a sharp knife puncture small holes all around the pork, then rub the spice mix all over it and place inside the large container with the water molasses mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200c or 392f . Place the pork with the brine in a deep baking dish. Cook for 2 hours, without letting the water completely dissipate. Add a little water at a time if it's needed. (The cooking time will depend on the size of the pork. ) Once the pork is cooked through place it on a cutting board to cool down, so you can handle it without burning your hands.
  3. While the pork is cooling down prepare the sauce.
Sauce Instructions:
  1. Fry the onion until it is soft, then add the tomato and garlic, and fry for another 5 minutes. Next add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine as best as possible. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime shred the pork with a fork or by using your fingers begin pulling the pork into shreds. Once all the pork has been "pulled" place in a large pan then pour all of the sauce over it, you can also add any remaining sauce from the roasting pan. Cook under medium heat until all of the sauce has been absorbed. This will also make the meat even more tender. If you want the meat a little wet leave as much of the sauce as you want otherwise cook it off.
  1. Scoop pulled pork onto bread rolls and serve with potato salad and coleslaw.
*Habanero peppers are very spicy so adjust to your taste and heat preference. You could also replace it with ground cayenne or red chile powder.


Habanero, Rum and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe by Spicie Foodie

The pork is a spicy, sweet, salty and oh so tender — really scrumptious! I always serve our pulled pork sandwiches with apple celeriac salad and old-fashioned potato salad. The recipe for my apple celeriac salad is in the archives here, but I have yet to post my old-fashioned potato salad — I will soon. The rolls I used to serve our sandwiches are Czech houska, which are similar to a German Kaiser rolls — they won’t get soggy.

Habanero, Rum and Molasses Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe by Spicie Foodie


Tell me, what was the newest food you’ve tried?


Check out these pulled pork recipes:
Italian Style Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwich in the Crockpot with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce by What’s Cookin’ Italian Style Cuisine
Guinness Pulled Pork by Gimme Some Oven
Korean Pulled Pork Sandwiches by The Yum Yum Factor
North Carolina Style Pulled Pork by The Two Bite
(Slow Cooker) Cranberry Chipotle BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders by Snappy Gourmet
** Vegan OptionPulled “Pork” BBQ Sandwiches by Vegetarian Times


Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie



  1. Eha says

    This recipe is quite new to me. I do love the spices used and can very well see myself trying this soonest. I am not experienced in cooking with molasses though I see I have some in my pantry: so it will be a trial and error experiment to get it right :) !

  2. says

    Well if you must know my dear it was celery root and I made it into a vegan slaw. I wish I was closer so I could get in on these food conversations. I would probably invite myself over for one of these pulled pork sammies too. He he. Love how you brought the heat. Hope you are off to a great start this week.

    • says

      Hehe, I knew it was celery root but was wondering what you were going to do with it — vegan slaw sounds great. You’re welcome to join us anytime Gina:) Thanks and I hope all is well with you. xx

  3. says

    That is a great sounding name for a recipe. Down here we don’t have pulled anything sandwiches but it is interesting to see all the recipes on the blogs for them. I still have an old cookbook which is falling apart from when Adriano and I first got together. Every now and then, I look through it and think about the memories associated with them.

    • says

      Thank you Suzanne! I always associate pulled pork sandwiches with America and never seen then anywhere else. Wow, that’s great and I’m sure they are such lovely memories.

  4. robert elia says

    This sounds amazing… Do you think I can do this in a slow cooker? please advise. Thank You!

  5. says

    I am so hungry right now and your pictures aren’t helping. :) I think it’s so sweet that you look at recipes together and figure out how to combine your cultures in one dish. I have yet to make pulled pork but now I know which recipe to borrow–sounds like you’ve perfected it! :)

  6. says

    We’re big on pulled pork in my house and have never made it using rum and molasses. Love this idea and could definitely go for some habenero spice! Looks like the perfect pulled pork sando I ever did see!

  7. says

    This is one gorgeous looking pulled pork sandwich-I would love to bring these to tailgate before a football game and watch everybody go nuts over these yummy sandwiches ;-) Thanks for sharing your recipe Nancy!

  8. says

    I’m definitely drooling here!!! Just the name of this sandwich alone had me hooked. There is nothing better than slow-cooked pork and I love the ingredients that you added to it! Of course your sauce is to die for! Haven’t had pulled pork sandwiches in ages, but that is going to change. I know what you mean about being foodies all of your lives. Even when Bobby and i were dating, where we ate on a date was so important and a lot of our conversations were about the food. Once we started traveling together, Bobby would pick out at least 3 restaurants to eat at before we got there and more restaurants along the way. We didn’t know where we were going to sleep, but we did know where we were going to eat. :)

  9. says

    My husband and I have had a similar experience. I never ate pork before we met and he’d never had Mexican or Indian food. We’ve definitely swapped food experiences over the years.

    The most recent food I’ve tried was tripe, one good experience and one bad. But that’s how it goes.

    One of the many things I like about your blog is that we’re both in Europe and have a hankering for Mexican and spicier foods. You’ve helped me find ways of putting the spices back into my foods with the ingredients I can find in France.

    I’ve been wanting to try pulled pork or chicken for a while. I guess I’ll have to get to it now. I know my husband would love it.

    • says

      Hi Holly,

      So you and your husband know exactly what it’s like.:)

      Tripe, my hat goes off to you. We eat it in Mexico and I could never develop a taste for it.

      Thank you so much! I’m glad that I can help because it’s been a struggle since we came to Europe. If you ever need any specific advice don’t hesitate to ask. Enjoy the pulled pork or chicken!:)

  10. says

    Oh wow. I make this all the time but mine is usually just pork, BBQ sauce and onions. Your recipe looks incredible. I am so going to bookmark and make this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. says

    How did I miss this post?! I just happen to see it at the bottom of your sponsor/ad post! (which I am seriously contemplating, BTW) Anyway, my hubby would love these — pinning now!

    • says

      Hi Judy! Well, I’m glad you found it today and didn’t miss it entirely. My husband loves them, so it’s a man-friendly meal.

      Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions regarding the sponsor ads.:)

  12. says

    I love pulled pork and don’t think to make it often enough so I can’t wait to try your version with molasses for depth of flavor AND both my husband and I are chili heads who are in love with habaneros and put my homemade sauce in most any meal, so I know we’ll love this!

  13. says

    Looks delicious! I have some baked pork ribs, I will try to use them to my sandwich. Thanks for inspiration! Greetings from snowy Poland :)

    • says

      Hi Julie,
      No, it is mixed in with the remaining spices. But it really doesn’t matter, so if you want to save time on finely chopping the onion for the marinade then go ahead and blend it. Enjoy:)

  14. Lori says

    I don’t understand your measurement for the molasses? And if I sub cayenne for the habanero, how much do I use? Thanks in advance and this recipe looks and sounds awesome!

    • says

      Hi Lori! The measurements for the molasses are as follows: 2 tablespoons for the Pork Ingredients and 4 tablespoons for the Sauce Ingredients. As for the cayenne, it is really up to you and how much heat you can tolerate. I would start off with 1-2 tablespoons, blend the sauce ingredients then taste it and see if you would like to add more. My pleasure and enjoy the sandwiches!:)


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