Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Well, summer is around the corner and I thought I would share this recipe to get us all in the BBQ season mood.  What better way to think about summer then with those tasty little critters called pigs?  Who knew something so cute could produce such tasty things as baby back ribs, ham, pork chops, pork tenderloins, pork loins, country ribs and my all time favorite feature, BACON!!!  My friends can tell you that I have a way with bacon wrapped anything, but that is for a different time.

When I started making pulled pork, I was trying out different techniques, recipes, flavors, and I have to say just keeping it simple was the best.

Usually when I make pulled pork I like to have French fries or tater tots and some baked beans with it.  I did not cook baked beans last night (usually Bush's Baked Beans and adding some BBQ sauce), but it was one of those nights were we had too many chores and not enough time for eating so we skipped them.  Odd, I know!

What you will need for this recipe is simple.  This should cook enough for 4 people depending on how much they eat (figuring 2 sandwiches each).

1 to 1 ½ lbs pork shoulder with a lot of marbling.  If you are making this for a big gathering you might want to buy a larger shoulder roast (2 if you cannot find any that are 3 to 4 lbs) or what some stores call the picnic roast and cook it in a much larger pot on the stove and of course have plenty of BBQ sauce to go with it.  Do not use cuts like the pork loin or a roast as these cuts of meat are rather dry and do not like being cooked for long periods of time.
Crock pot
Fresh ground pepper
Sea Salt
Your favorite BBQ sauce with enough for the pork and the baked beans
Hamburger buns
Tater tots
Peanut oil (vegetable oil if you do not have peanut oil or have a peanut allergy)
Canned baked beans
Water

Starting with our main contender, the pork!  Do not debone the pork; the meat will slide right off the bone after cooking.  Cut the pork roast in half or as close as possible and place into your crock pot along with 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Fill the crock pot with water to the top of the pork, cover and set on high for about 2 to 3 hours.  Once 2 or 3 hours has passed, turn the crock pot to low and cook overnight.  After the cook time has completed, turn off the crock pot and let it cool.  After about an hour (or a full work day) of cooling you can remove the pork from the crock pot and place in a bowl.  Remove the bone from the pork and as much fat as you would like, just remember that some of the fat left in the mix is fine, and can be tasty.

At this point you want to empty a bottle of your favorite sauce into a 4 quart pot, add about 1/4 cup of water to the bottle, shake and pour into the pot, then bring the sauce to a bubbling boil, turn down the heat on the sauce to about medium low.  You can start crushing the pork with your hands and place into the pot with the sauce.  Crushing the pork will essentially cause it to "shred" leaving you with nice portions of the meat that will blend well with the sauce.  Do not worry if the pork starts to look "stringy", this is normal.  Once you have finished adding the pork to the sauce, stir the meat to coat thoroughly.  If it is not "juicy" enough feel free to add more BBQ sauce.

While the meat is coming to temperature in the sauce, start heating your peanut oil for the tater tots.  You can bake the tots in the oven as directed, but if you are like me and love the crisp crunch, frying is the only way to go.  Once the oil starts to ripple you can start adding the tater tots in and fry them till they are to your specifications of doneness.  I like mine a bit crispier then others so I pull them when they are a darker shade of brown, as seen in the photo provided.

Take your hamburger buns and place them in your toaster oven and toast till lightly browned on the inside.  If you do not have a toaster oven, you can toast them in the oven or a standard toaster if you like.  Place a scoop of the pork mixture on the toasted bun and commence eating.  Just remember, like Sloppy Joes, these are messy.

For those that love baked beans, you can use your favorite can of baked beans and add some of the BBQ sauce to the mix when heating them to give the beans a flavor that will pair with your pulled pork sandwich.

Enjoy!

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