Summer is making its entrance in LA which means it’s time for barbecues and pool parties! I had my friends up to the canyon for a Sunday Funday pool party this past weekend, and since Topanga is such a fire zone, we don’t have a barbecue out at our pool. So in wondering how I was going to easily feed about 10 people, I remembered my brother’s favorite Pulled Pork and Spicy Cole Slaw sandwiches by The Food Network’s Tyler Florence. It may not be as easy as throwing the pork roast in a crock pot with some barbecue sauce, but it is certainly worth the effort. The slow roast in the oven gives the pork a nice crispy, flavor-packed skin to complement the tart cider vinegar barbecue sauce and savory spicy cole slaw. I served it with a new Latin-inspired version of my favorite Watermelon Salad. When the 7 pounds of pork disappeared in just an hour or two I knew it was a success (so fast, I missed my photo opportunity). Better yet, my friends tossed their buns because the pork was so flavorful on it’s own–now that is the ultimate compliment to a Primal cook. Of course this recipe is technically not Primal since it has brown sugar in both the rub and the barbecue sauce, but to stay grain-free, the bun is easily unnecessary. In the future, I’d love to play around with the barbecue sauce, substituting pure maple syrup for the brown sugar.
Barbecue Pulled Pork (Adapted from Tyler Florence) (Difficulty-Advanced; Serves 10-12)
- 3 Tbsp. paprika
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. dry mustard
- 2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
- 2 3lb. (or 1 5-7lb.) organic or all natural pork roasts, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
- 1 1/4 c. organic cider vinegar
- 1 c. yellow or brown mustard
- 2/3 c. organic ketchup
- 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Pan drippings from the pork
- 12 hamburger buns
- 1 recipe Cole Slaw
Spicy Cole Slaw:
- 2 heads organic green cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 head organic purple cabbage, shredded
- 2 organic carrots, grated
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
- 1/2 c. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. raw honey
- 1 tsp. celery seeds
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp. hot sauce (I used Franks)
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the Pork: Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight–the longer, the better!
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 3 hours (~6hrs if using a 5-7lb. roast). An instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the pork should register 160 degrees F, but basically, what you want to do is to roast it until it’s falling apart.
While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let it sit until you’re ready for it.
When the pork is done, take it out of the oven and put it on a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While it’s resting, deglaze the pan over medium heat with 3/4 cup water, scraping with a wooden spoon to pick up all of the browned bits. Reduce by about half. Pour that into the saucepan with the sauce and cook 5 minutes.
While the pork is still warm, you want to “pull” the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to “pull” shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour half of the sauce over. Stir it all up well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.
Make the slaw: Combine the cabbages, carrots, and red onion in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and cayenne. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix. Season the cole slaw with the celery seed, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper. Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Serve pork over toasted hamburger buns piled with cole slaw, or simply eat them with a fork and forget the bun. Spoon the extra barbecue sauce over the top if desired.