Food, Beer & Buffoonery - Hops

Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich and Arugula-laced Coleslaw

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwish and Coleslaw

Tonight I decided to delve into some traditional American food. After a friend who’d spent some time in Alabama said they missed the hickory smoked pulled BBQ’ed beef sandwiches, and that nothing on the West coast is quite the same as the real southern BBQ, I took up the challenge to recreate that meal — or something kinda like it.

I started out by buying a pork shoulder roast weighting just over 4 pounds. I made a dry rub for it which I got out of Bruce Aidells’ fabulous “The Complete Meat Cookbook” (p. 375). I let it sit on the meat for about an hour and then seared all sides of the meat with a couple tablespoons of oil on the stove in my large cast iron dutch oven. I then poured enough low salt beef broth in the dutch oven to cover the bottom about 1/2 inch up the sides, covered it, and tossed it into a preheated 275F (135C) oven for about 3.5 hours. The internal temp of the meat was above 190F when I took it out … well past the well-done mark for a pork roast, but since I checked the broth level every 45 minutes or so and kept it at about 1/2 inch, that long cooking time at a low temp made the meat perfectly tender and very easy t “pull” apart.

I took the meat out and let it sit, still covered, in the dutch over while I made the BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce also came out of “The Complete Meat Cookbook”. (Yes, I like this book!) I used the Bourbon Barbecue Sauce recipe (p. 381), in which I used 1 Cup of Alaskan Amber Ale and 1/2 Cup of a decent “cheap” bourbon, Even Williams’ Black Label. It turned out fantastic, but perhaps a wee heavy on the cider vinegar, so next time I think I’ll use 1/8 Cup rather than 1/4 Cup.

Once the sauce was simmering, I pulled the pork apart with my hands. An extremely easy task as it had cooked so long and was so tender. The clumps of fat slipped right off too, and I tossed those.

To make the sandwich, I just threw some of the meat into a skillet, spooned in some of the BBQ sauce and heated till it was piping hot. I had purchased some fresh buns from the local bakery, since they’re way better than the ones from the grocery store. I just barley toasted the inside of each bun half and spooned the meat/sauce mixture on. It was the best BBQ sandwich I’d ever had. Seriously.

Now for the coleslaw. I first checked out a few recipes. Nothing really made me excited, so I created my own. I didn’t have any buttermilk (a traditional coleslaw ingredient), so I decided to try yogurt, as it’s the closest thing I had on hand. It worked out quite well. I can go into more detail here on the coleslaw as it’s my own recipe. So here goes… 😉

Greg’s Arugula-laced Coleslaw

1/2 head of green Cabbage, shredded or chopped fine
1 large Carrot, grated
1 red Apple, grated
1/3 medium Onion, minced
1/2 Cup chopped Arugula
1/4 Cup chopped flat leaf Parsley
1/4 Cup raisins
1 tsp. Poppy seeds
1/2 Cup plain non-fat Yogurt
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Milk
1/2 tsp. Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp. fine Sugar
1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

There’s not much to it. Just mix all the “wet” ingredients in a large bowl and add the dry ingredients, one-by-one, stirring them in. This was the first time I made this particular recipe, but it turned out quite well. The arugula was a nice touch – gave the coleslaw a nice little sharp kick.