Pulled Pork
with Mint Julep Barbecue Sauce

Makes 12 sandwiches


Pulled Pork In the Carolinas, barbecue sauce is a subject of fierce debate. East Carolinians prefer a spicy vinegar-based blend, West Carolinians swear by a slightly sweet tomato-based sauce, and South Carolinians favor mustard-based mixes. I have combined them all and then added a bit of bourbon and fresh mint.


1 bone-in pork shoulder, 5 lb. (2.5 kg)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) apple cider
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) cider vinegar
4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and finely chopped
12 sesame seed-topped sandwich buns, split and warmed
12 dill pickle spears

1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) unsalted butter
3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) tomato purée
3/4 cup (9 oz/280 g) dark molasses
1/3 cup (3 oz/90 g) coarse-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) bourbon
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup (1/2 oz/15 g) chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot-pepper sauce


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly coat a large baking pan with vegetable oil. Rub the pork shoulder with the pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and mustard seeds and place in the baking pan. Pour the cider and vinegar over and around the pork. Scatter the onions, garlic, and bell pepper over and around the pork. Cover with aluminum foil.

2. Roast for 3 hours. Uncover and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 180 degrees F (82 degrees C), about 1 hour.

3. While the pork is roasting, make the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and ginger and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée, molasses, mustard, bourbon, vinegar, Worcestershire, lemon, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 2 hours. Discard the lemon slices. Stir in the mint and Tabasco.

4. Remove the pork from the oven and transfer to a plate. Let stand for 1 hour. Reserve the roasted vegetables. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other, discarding any fat. Place the shredded pork in a bowl. With a slotted spoon, transfer the roasted vegetables to the bowl with the pork.

5. Mix the sauce with the shredded pork. Stuff each bun with some of the pork and serve immediately with the pickle spears on the side.

Nutritional analysis per sandwich:
Calories 602 (Kilojoules 2,528); Protein 30 g; Carbohydrates 55 g; Total Fat 29 g; Saturated Fat 11 g; Cholesterol 114 mg; Sodium 1,494 mg; Dietary Fiber 4 g.

Buy the Book!


The South
The Williams-Sonoma
New American Cooking Series

Time Life Books, 2000
Hardback, $22.95
Color photographs throughout
ISBN: 0-7370-2040-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


The South



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