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.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- While the pork is cooling down prepare the sauce.
- 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.
- 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.
- Scoop pulled pork onto bread rolls and serve with potato salad and coleslaw.
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.
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 Option – Pulled “Pork” BBQ Sandwiches by Vegetarian Times