Pulled pork is one of my favorite sandwiches. The meat is so tender and delicate. When it’s served on a toasted roll with some homemade BBQ sauce, pickles or coleslaw for crunch… it’s pretty incredible.
When I was growing up, there weren’t any BBQ restaurants to eat at and my mom never made BBQ… ever. I was out of luck if I wanted ribs, brisket, smoked pork or sausage. You just couldn’t get it anywhere around my small hometown.
My husband’s grandmother was originally from Kentucky. She later moved to Washington D.C., where she met her husband and had four children, including my mother-in-law, Linda. Growing up below the Mason-Dixon Line and having a very southern mother, Linda can cook some serious BBQ. My husband bragged about her cooking skills for months until I met her. She did not disappoint. She has smoked and grilled pretty much everything you could possibly smoke or grill, and it’s always fantastic.
One of the first BBQ dishes she made for me was pulled pork and it made a big impression on me. They were just simple crock-pot sandwiches, topped with vinegar coleslaw and some bread and butter pickles, on a soft roll. I love when a few ingredients create an explosion of flavor. The briny slaw and pickles pair perfectly with the sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. The smoky pork and roll need a little crunch and the coleslaw and pickles give it that perfect amount. Plus, their vinegar taste marries well with meat.
For this recipe, I use a dutch oven and cook my pork butt on slow for 3 – 3 1/2 hours. I grabbed some sturdy Kaiser rolls dusted with sesame seeds at the grocery store, knowing they would hold up wonderfully with this large, slightly messy, sandwich. I also toasted the rolls for a few minutes under the broiler for a little extra crunch and charred flavor. This gave a nice crispness to the sandwich, while still having a soft middle.