Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

I know I'm a couple of days late, but we spent so much of the 4th of July weekend cooking, eating, and celebrating, I didn't really have a chance to write about it. I'll fill you in on what we cooked over the next few days, because it was a roaring success of excess and deliciousness. We started out with pulled pork sandwiches with homemade pickled onions. The great thing about this recipe: it's easy to make, and easy to double or triple (depending on the size of your crowd) and you can keep revisiting it all weekend in new formats. After we inhaled this dish on Friday night, I saw a pulled pork hash happen on Saturday morning and I even saw someone put pulled pork on top of their hotdogs on Saturday afternoon! Maybe a little extreme for me, but the point is, if you churn this out, it can feed a crowd for days.

I hope everyone had as much fun as we did-- Happy 4th of July everyone! 



  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole coriander seed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole cumin seed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chile powder
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder
  •  Hamburger or brioche buns, for serving


  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sweet or hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  •  Pinch of cayenne
  •  Dash of hot sauce, more to taste


  1. Assemble the spice rub for the pork: In a dry, small skillet over medium-low heat, toast coriander, cumin and peppercorns until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind toasted spices into a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl and mix with salt, mustard powder, chile powder and sugar.
  2. If your roast is tied up, untie it. Massage meat generously with spice rub. If you have time, let meat rest for an hour or two at room temperature, or refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place pork in a baking pan and roast for 3 to 4 hours or until meat is pull-apart tender and internal temperature reads 200 degrees on a meat thermometer. Let meat cool for at least 30 minutes before pulling it apart and shredding with your hands or two forks. (This works best when the meat is warm but not hot.)
  4. Prepare the barbecue sauce: Combine ingredients in a medium pot. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has deepened in color. Season with more hot sauce if you like. Add two-thirds of the sauce to meat and toss to coat, adding more sauce as needed. (Any leftover sauce will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)
  5. Serve pulled pork with pickled onions, buns and hot sauce on the side, letting people assemble their own sandwiches.

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