Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Habanero BBQ Sauce

Pulled Pork Sandwiches are one of my favorite BBQ foods. It takes some planning and work before hand, but unlike easier BBQ fare like burgers and dogs, there is no work to be done at the last minute. It is a meal that works particularly well for a crowd since you aren't slaving over a hot grill while your guests are busy drinking all your booze. I learned that no good deed goes unpunished when I served a boatload of these sandwiches to a handful of my good friends, a big crowd of new faces, and a quite a number of enormous tools for a BBQ on Corcoran Street this past weekend. The Peach-Habanero sauce is an amazing blend of sweet and spicy and the flavors really compliment the tender pulled pork. I think the sauce would certainly work nicely on chicken too. I start with pork butts, brine them, slow roast them, and then place them in a crock pot for easy buffet service. I think these turned out pretty delicious and I served them on hamburger rolls with Jackie Carl’s fantastic Asian Slaw on top. Every last bit was eaten up! Shout-out to the Chicago architecture scene, where they apparently love eating and cooking as much as I do!Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Habanero BBQ Sauce
3 6-7 lb. pork butts
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
6 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 quarts cold water
Dry Rub:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup mustard powder
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 Tablespoon Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Peach-Habanero BBQ Sauce:
3 peaches
1 Vidalia onion
1 pinch Habanero powder
1 1/2 cups ginger ale
1 cup ketchup

1. Make the brine by combining white sugar and salt in a large pitcher with 2 quarts of water and stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the peppercorns and red pepper flakes.
2. Place each pork butt into a large plastic freezer bag and add 2 bay leaves to each bag. Pour 1/3 of the brine into each bag and seal. Brine the pork in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
3. Make the dry rub by combining paprika, mustard powder, ginger, cayenne, salt, and brown sugar in a bowl and mixing them together.
4. Remove the pork from the brine and rinse very well in cold water. Pat the pork butts dry with a paper towel so that the dry rub will stick.
5. Rub the pork all over with the dry rub, getting into all the nooks and crannys. Get nice and familiar with your pork butts and give them a very thick coating. This will form the most delicious crust on your meat.
6. Roast the pork, fat-side-up, uncovered at 225 degrees overnight. At such a low temperature, the cooking time will not be perfectly exact. About 12-13 hours should do the trick. I inserted a thermometer into the meat and cooked it until the thermometer was at 190 degrees and the pork was falling off the bone.
7. Make the sauce by peeling and slicing the peaches into cubes (you could probably use a bag of frozen peaches for this too).
8. In a saucepan saute peaches and sliced Vidalia onion with salt and pepper for about 10 minutes.
9. Add 1 cup ginger ale and continue to cook for 20 minutes until very tender.
10. Place this mixture into a blender with a cup of ketchup and blitz until smooth.
11. Return the mixture to the saucepan and add another 1/2 cup ginger ale and the pinch of Habanero power (I have a small jar of Habanero Powder and the stuff is POTENT. The tiniest pinch gives the sauce an amazing, but manageable, heat). Cook on low for about an hour until thick and delicious.
12. Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes until you can stand to handle it (it will be HOT).
13. Remove the pork to another dish and discard the melted fat at the bottom of the roasting pans. Use two forks to pull apart the meat, removing the top layer of fat and bone. The pork should be forking apart easily, but may have some fat so I tried to remove it as best I could.
14. If serving to a crowd, place the pulled pork pieces in a crock pot and combine with BBQ sauce. It will only be enough for a light coating. I didn’t want to mask the amazing, slow cooked pork, just compliment it. Set the crock pot to warm and put out with rolls and slaw.
15. Enjoy (thanks to Erin for being such a great pork model AND for the yummy bean dip)!
My very extra special thanks to Sarah, Jackie, Luis, Matt, Pete and Mark for bringing amazing food and helping so much with the BBQ. I'm lucky to have such good looking and talented friends :)


  1. Had a wonderful time with great people and delicious food...but that is always the case with Corcoran parties! Also I am so proud I can add "pork model" to my resume! <3 Wage

  2. It was delicious! Well worth the butt wait. :)