Oven-Style Pulled Pork Sandwich

On rainy days, you can still get a taste of the South with this dish.

  • Preparation Time10 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
1kg slow-roasted pork shoulder, recipe follows
530ml quick barbecue sauce, recipe follows
Salt, as needed
6 baps, lightly warmed

For the slow-roasted pork shoulder

2 heaping tbsp black peppercorns
25 cloves garlic, (about 2 heads) peeled
10 whole cloves
175ml vegetable oil
1 bone-in pork shoulder, (about 3kg)
Salt, as needed
White distilled vinegar, as needed

For the quick barbecue sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil, like soy, corn, or groundnut
1/2 medium Spanish onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 (795g) tin whole, peeled tomatoes (with juices), pureed in a blender
240ml plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
175g soft light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 150°C / gas Mark 2.

In large bowl, mix together the pork butt (shoulder) and sauce. Transfer the pork mixture to a 20-by 20-by 5-cm pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake until very hot, about 1 hour.

Divide the mixture on the hamburger baps and serve immediately.

Slow-roasted pork shoulder

Preheat the oven to 140°C / gas mark 1.

In a food processor, combine the peppercorns, garlic, and cloves and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until a paste is formed. Using a rubber spatula, scrap the garlic paste into a small bowl.

Place the pork butt on a work surface and season all over generously with salt. Rub all over with the garlic paste.

Place in an oven-safe roasting bag and close with a twist tie. Place in a large roasting tin, and cook until tender, about 5 hours.

Remove roast from the oven. Slip the oven-roasting bag off the meat and discard.

Transfer the cooking liquid to a medium saucepan. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid with a ladle or de-greaser. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer to thicken the juices slightly.

Raise the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6. Return the pork, in the roasting tin, to the oven. Continue roasting, basting frequently with the simmering cooking liquid, until well-browned, about 30 minutes. If there is any cooking liquid left, pour it over the pork.

Remove pork from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

With the pork drippings you may make a vinegar sauce using this formula: for every 120ml of drippings, whisk with 3 tablespoons vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Either carve the pork into thin slices, or, using 2 forks, pull into small pieces. Serve with the vinegar sauce on the side.

For the quick barbecue sauce:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and crushed pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 45 seconds.

Add the tomato puree and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more.

Add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until deep red in colour and reduced to about 950ml, about 25 minutes.

Season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store, covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

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