Pork shoulder has the double advantage of pairing well with both white and red wines, and being one of the cheaper cuts at the meat counter. Long-braised and roasted, it also delivers a huge amount of flavor. Serve these sandwiches with fresh cilantro sprigs and thinly sliced sweet onions (such as Maui) for each person to add to taste.
About 5 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder (also called butt), tied
2 medium onions, quartered
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
4 celery stalks, cut into chunks
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 to 1 1/2 qts. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
About 1 tsp. kosher salt
About 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
16 small, soft sandwich rolls, split
How to Make It
Rinse pork and put in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, cumin, oregano, orange juice, lime juice, and enough chicken broth just to cover meat. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer until pork is very tender when pierced, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425°. Transfer pork to a large baking pan and pull off string. Bake until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. With two large forks, break meat into large chunks. Continue to bake until richly browned, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil.
Meanwhile, pour braising liquid and vegetables into a strainer set over a large, deep frying pan, pressing on vegetables with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible; discard vegetables. Skim off and discard any fat from juices. Boil over high heat until reduced to about 4 cups, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar and 1 tsp. each salt and pepper.
With forks, tear pork into large shreds, discarding any large chunks of fat and the bone. Add meat to reduced braising liquid and stir gently over medium heat until very hot, about 5 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Spoon pulled pork into a large bowl and serve with sandwich rolls alongside, or fill sandwich rolls and arrange them on a platter.
This is such a wonderful recipe! I cooked it only for 2 1/2 hours and cut it in half, using one half as roast pork, and continuing to braise the other half for pulled pork the next night! My family loveddd it. So simple too! Just put everything together and let it simmer and become tender.
Well worth the time. The crowd of adults & offspring loved this and agree that the cilantro & onions are the perfect accompaniment. Second time I made this I did so a day ahead of a party. It rewarmed beautifully in the crock pot so don't let the time involved be a deterent just plan ahead!
The only thing that is bad about this recipe is going to be the anticipation that I will experience the next time I cook it. Great flavors, wonderful reduction to make the sauce, and it really was very easy.
This is awesome - I have made it a few times and the cilantro and onion are a perfect sandwich topper. For the slaw, I just bought a good Asian Soy dressing and poured in a bag of precut slaw. Totally a hit!