I think pulled pork sandwiches are my husband’s favorite food — if it’s on the menu, he sees nothing else. Needless to say, I want to make them at home to please his palate. But I don’t always have 6 or 7 hours to do a slow roast of pork butt, so was imagining how to do it quickly. The answer is the pressure cooker.
Funny enough, the pressure cooker is coming back into vogue. The question is why it ever went out of favor. Here is a device that can cook what might normally take 5 to 7 hours to braise and do it in less than 1, while preserving moisture and making meat very tender. Regardless of why it’s back, I find myself using it often, particularly during the week when I have far less time to cook. This recipe is a perfect example of that…you can have delicious pulled pork sandwiches in about an hour.
I serve my pulled pork sandwiches with a Carolina-style (a thin, spicy vinegar sauce with a bit of ketchup) and coleslaw. Recipes for all of these are below, and will make 4 pulled pork sandwiches. The recipe can be doubled.
2 lb boneless pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cups water
Cut the pork into roughly 1 1/2″ cubes, trimming extra fat as you go. Place the pork cubes in the pressure cooker, and sprinkle the meat with the dry seasonings. Add the water and stir to mis in spices. Cook for 40 minutes on high pressure (my electric pressure cooker’s high setting equals 10 PSI; cook for 30 minutes if using a pressure cooker that cooks at 15 PSI).
Do a quick release on the pressure, strain the meat, discarding the liquid and place the meat on a work surface. Allow to cool slightly, and “pull” or shred the pork with 2 forks. Put the shredded pork in a medium saucepan and add 3/4 cup of the Carolina sauce. Heat over low heat until warm. Serve on toasted buns topped with coleslaw, serving extra sauce on the side in a squirt bottle.
Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, heat over medium heat and stir until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. You will mix 3/4 cup into the pulled pork; put the remaining sauce in a squirt bottle for serving to allow diners to add it to their sandwich as desired.
2 cups shredded cabbage (I prefer the storebought kind that contains green and red cabbage and carrot)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste
Mix all above ingredients together in a bowl until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, lime and vinegar) as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the pulled pork sandwiches, toast the buns you will use. Take the warm meat off the stove and pile the meat onto the bottom of the bun. Top with the coleslaw and top bun. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side in a squirt bottle for easy serving. Enjoy!