pulled pork sandwich

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and here it is, folks. i told you last week how i had prepared the barbecue sauce for these sandwiches, crossing my fingers that it’d turn out right. it is always a bit of a risk to try out a new recipe and then turn around and debut it to a hungry, expectant crowd, after all.

the recipe calls for a 6- to 8-pound cut of meat, but – with my guest list in mind – i bought two 5-pound picnic roasts instead, stuck them in a baking dish side-by-side, and let the oven do its thing. and after a good, long afternoon in there, the hulking pieces of pork roasted to shredability just fine. taking tips from the recipe reviewers, i made sure the internal temperature of the meat reached about 190º f before taking it out, and i made a surplus of sauce to douse the pulled pork in (i ended up needing 1 ½ times the amount that the original recipe would have yielded). the sauce ended up being just about the perfect dressing for the rich, savory meat: sweet with just a little bit of burn.

piled onto some hamburger buns with a top plop of coleslaw and a glass of something ice-cold to wash it on down… the chatter of friends old and new filling the otherwise quiet evening air, sun setting down behind you all… why, yes. i do believe this is the way to start summer.

homemade bbq sauce

i find myself in a generally better mood when i’m not trying to finish cooking five dishes the day of a dinner party, so a couple nights ago i got a head start on prepping for my barbecue this weekend. the stars of the menu are pulled-pork sandwiches, something i’ve been wanting to make for a while since i’m a fan of eating them. i did my homework, researched some recipes, read through reviews… and one from emeril lagasse seemed to be a safe bet.

there were three main steps to preparing the sandwich filling: roast the pork, shred the meat, then toss it around in some homemade barbecue sauce. quite a few reviewers mentioned how the flavor of the sauce improved after some time in the fridge, so on a wednesday night i found myself watching old episodes of friends while chopping a whole lot of onions.

after they got a good and buttery sauté in the pan, a generous amount of spices went in, too.

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plus, like, twelve thousand cloves of garlic. divided by a thousand.

then tomato paste, cider vinegar, and some water before things really started blurbling.

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pretty soon, the aroma of the sauce hung in the air and my little house was smelling awfully sour. indeed, there were some recipe commenters who worried over the vinegar content in the recipe, but for this first time out, i decided to follow it faithfully; i’ll just keep my bag of brown sugar close by for emergency adjustments. i haven’t tasted the sauce yet – the tupperware’s currently resting quietly in the fridge – but i’ll be roasting the pork later today, so we’ll see then how well the two get along.

to be continued…