I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for you for quite a while now. My problem is that I keep taking pictures of the process, and then never get a picture of the plated pulled pork. It’s too good and gets eaten immediately. I’ve given up and decided to write up the post with the pictures that I have. You’ll have to use your imagination, or make it yourself to see the final reveal 😉
The recipe for the pulled pork spice rub was sent to me by my aunt from The Joy of Cooking, which I’ve adapted a bit. The recipe for the BBQ sauce is my own. I’ve been tweaking it over the years and have pretty much perfected it, in my opinion. It always gets rave reviews, so now I am sharing it with you. Just a note, I like my BBQ sauce tangy and not so much on the sweet side. I’m told this is Texas style BBQ. If you prefer a sweeter BBQ sauce, you may need to make adjustments. If you do make it, let me know what you think and if you changed it to suit your tastes.
Pulled Pork Spice Rub: (adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
- 3 Tbsp cumin
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 Tbsp ground red pepper
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup ground black pepper
- A few pinches of cayenne pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir it all up. I like to double the recipe and keep it in my freezer to have spice rub at the ready when I need it. I also sometimes do half regular paprika and half smoked paprika to add some extra smokiness.
Once your spice rub is ready, it’s time to rub a generous amount of it on your pork. Did I mention the type of pork to use for this? Any sort of pork roast will do. I use pork shoulder, usually, but I’ve used loin before.Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of a dutch oven, and put your rubbed down pork on top. Cover it with the lid and keep it in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
Meanwhile, you can start making your BBQ sauce. Here is the recipe I’ve been tweaking over the years. I haven’t changed it in a while because we really like it this way, hence why I’m finally ready to share.
Ingredients: (Note- I almost always double this so that I have some to freeze)
- 1/2 onion- minced
- 6 cloves garlic- minced
- 2 cans tomato sauce
- 1/2 can tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil + a splash
- 4 Tbsp vinegar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- Liquid smoke- to taste
- Hot sauce- to taste
1. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil and cook the onions until they begin to be translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring the whole time.
2. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir well to incorporate tomato paste.
3. Add remaining ingredients. The tamarind paste and soy sauce are what really deepen the color of the BBQ sauce. See the shot above and the two below for comparison.
4. Let sauce simmer for 30 minutes or so. Taste for appropriate smokiness and spiciness often and add smoke or hot sauce as needed.
5. Back to the pork now. Preheat your oven to 325. Take the pork out of the dutch oven while you heat the dutch oven over medium heat. When the dutch oven is hot, coat the bottom with olive oil and sear the outside of the the pork until it’s evenly brown.
6. Put all the pork back into the dutch oven, cover it with the lid, and roast it in the oven for 3 1/2 hours.
7. While the pork is roasting, you can make hamburger buns if you really want to go all out.
8. When the pork is done, remove it from the oven, allow to cool slightly and shred with a fork, or your fingers if you can stand the heat.
9. Spoon BBQ sauce over the shredded pork and serve with hamburger buns.