PULLED PORK CHALLENGE: CAN I MAKE THE PERFECT SANDWICH???

Welcome back to another episode of the sandwich series where I find the best sandwiches from around the world and make everything from scratch! In this episode I am attempting to recreate the classic and coveted pulled pork sandwich but without a smoker. Have no fear because here at Pro Home Cooks, I use my trusty grill and crafty ways to help me achieve that smoky flavor and crusty bark.


Due to current circumstances I wasn't able to go out to try this sandwich but I’ve had plenty in my lifetime so I will be pulling from my pulled pork sandwich memory bank. I made everything from the pillowy soft potato buns, juicy and tender smoked pulled pork, fresh and super easy to make coleslaw, and a classic BBQ sauce to finish everything off. Click here to see the full video! 

Smoked Pulled Pork 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon coriander 

  • 1 teaspoon cumin 

  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes 

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 

  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs

  • ¼  teaspoon allspice 

  • 4 -5 cardamom pods

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • ¼ teaspoon peppercorns 

  • 1 pork shoulder (approximately 3 pounds) 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and soak some wood chips. 

  2. In a spice grinder, add in 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili flakes, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon dried herbs, ¼  teaspoon allspice, and 4 -5 cardamom pods and grind until you get a fine powder mix. Add in 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon peppercorns and give it another good grind. You should be left with a nice spice blend. 

  3. Give your pork shoulder a good rinse under some cold water and then pat dry with some paper towels. 

  4. Liberally sprinkle spice rub over the pork being sure to cover every visible area. Cover the seasoned pork shoulder in tin foil and place on a baking tray and into the oven for 3 - 4 hours. 

  5. 3-4 hours later take the pork out to the grill but be sure to save any of the liquids that have come out of the pork in a jar. Set it in the fridge and we will come back to that later. 

  6.  Get your grill ready to go by burning some charcoal and soaked wood chips in one end of the grill. Add water to a large tin foil serving tray and place it anywhere in the grill to create extra moisture. Finally, place your pork shoulder onto the grates, close up the grill, and keep your grill at a steady 275 degree fahrenheit. Smoke for 3 hours. 

  7. Wrap it with some tin foil so that it doesn't dry out and smoke it for another 1 - 2 hours. It should have an internal temperature anywhere between 185 - 200 F.

  8. Take it off the grill and once it's cooled down a bit. You can start “pulling” your pork. 

Potato Brioche Bun 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 medium potatoes 

  • 6 cups of flour

  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup of warm milk 

  • ½ cup of water 

  • 2 eggs 

  • 2 teaspoon of instant yeast 

  • 2 tablespoons honey 

  • 2 tablespoons salt

Instructions:

  1. Start by poking some hole into your potatoes and microwave them for about 10 minutes or until they are tender all the way through. 

  2. Cut in half and peel the skins off once they have cooled off. Add all the potatoes into a bowl and give them a good mash making sure there are no large clumps. 

  3. Into your mash potato mixture add in 5 cups of flour and 1 stick of softened butter. Using your hands work the flour and butter into your mashed potatoes. 

  4. Once everything has been incorporated add in 1 cup of warm milk, ½ cup of water, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoon of instant yeast, 2 tablespoons honey, and 2 tablespoons salt until your dough forms. If your dough is still pretty sticky add in the last cup of flour. 

  5. Take it out of the bowl, dust your surface with flour, and start kneading your dough. Note that this dough is a pretty sticky dough but it will make for fluffy and soft burger buns. Pro tip: Any time it gets too sticky give it a 15 minute break to rest and absorb some of that extra liquid. After the 15 minutes are up, flour your surface again and knead it until it is smooth.

  6. Once your dough has been kneaded set it in a bowl to rise for 1 - 2 hours or until double in size.

  7. This step is totally optional but if you want you can work on creating eleven 4 inch rounds out of tin foil to help shape your final burger buns. Measure out a 4”x 4” piece of tin foil and fold three times to create a 4” x 1” strip. Wrap into a circle and wrap where the ends meet with another strip of tin fold to secure everything together. Repeat 10 more times.  

  8. Place a parchment paper down along with your tin circles and give each tin circle a spray of oil to ensure that no burger bun will stick. 

  9. Once proofed, dust your working surface with some flour and divide the dough equally into 11 pieces. Round them out into a nice tight ball and place them into your tin circle. 

  10. Give each bun a quick egg wash and proof for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  11. Once doubled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and give it another egg wash along with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. If your buns has expanded to much, you may cut them out of the tin circle, if not you may leave them in. 

  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool to the touch before cutting out of its mold.

Coleslaw 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 small head of green cabbage 

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 stalk of scallion 

  • Handful of fresh cilantro 

  • 4 - 5 small radishes

  • ½ cup of mayo 

  • ½ lime 

  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Start by thinly slicing all your veggies and herbs. For the carrot, it will be easier to peel it rather than to chop it. Click here to see how I made the slaw. 

  2. Add all the veggies and herb into a bowl along with ½ cup of mayo and the juice of ½ a lime. Mix everything together and add a pinch of salt. Give it a taste and if you’d like anymore mayo, lime, or salt now would be the time. 

  3. Set in the fridge while you finish the rest of your sandwich components. 

BBQ Sauce 

Ingredients: 

  • Leftover pork juice from earlier

  • 1 onion, chopped 

  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced

  • Pinch of salt 

  • 3 tablespoons of ketchup 

  • 3 tablespoon of molasses 

  • ¼ cup of vinegar 

  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce 

  • Sprinkling of BBQ spice mix from earlier 

  • Water to thin if necessary

Instructions:

  1. Your pork juice should have separated into juice and fat since it has been sitting in the fridge. Scoop the top layer of fat into a pot and heat until the solids have turned back down to liquid. Add the leftover juice back to the pork. 

  2. Next, add in 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves of sliced garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. 

  3. Then add in 3 tablespoons of ketchup, 3 tablespoon of molasses, ¼ cup of vinegar, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce , sprinkling of BBQ spice from earlier and cook until thick. Bring to a boil and then blend using an immersion blender. Add a little bit of water if you need to thin it out. Place your finished BBQ into a squeeze bottle and you're good to go! 

Assembly: 

Ingredients

  • Smoked Pork Shoulder 

  • A couple of potato buns 

  • Coleslaw 

  • BBQ sauce 

Instructions:

  1. Toast your bun on a buttered pan until golden brown on the inside. Remove from the heat and add a mound of pulled pork to a pan and sear to get some color and good texture.

  2. Place your pork on top of your buttered bun followed by some coleslaw and finished with the top of your bun. 

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