Pork shoulder is one of my all-time favorite cuts of meat – it's so versatile. You can cook it for a shorter period of time for sliced pork, cook it longer for shredded or pulled pork. You can roast, braise or smoke it. You can cut it in small chunks and make stew. This time, we’re looking for very tender pork for barbecue pork sandwiches.
- 2 1/2 pound (approximate weight) pork shoulder roast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Hamburger buns, for serving (optional)
- Tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oven to 300° F. Salt and pepper all sides of the roast, and place it on a rack in the pan. Place a remote thermometer in the center of the roast, not touching bone or pocket of fat.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast until the meat reaches a temperature of 185-190° F. This will take 4-6 hours, depending on the shape of your roast. The meat should be fork-tender and pulling away from the bone. Note: If you prefer slices of pork, you can cook the pork shoulder to 145° F, which will take about 2 hours.
- Remove the roast from the oven and let it cool a bit for easier handling. There will be meat drippings in the pan. You can use this for gravy or stock for other purposes… don't throw it away!
- Slice, chop, or shred the meat, as desired. If you prefer, cook the meat a day ahead of time and refrigerate it for easier cutting. Since the meat won’t shred when chilled, this option is best if you want chopped rather than shredded strands of meat.
- To make the pork sandwiches, combine the chopped or shredded meat with From-Scratch Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce in a pan and heat gently – cook the whole batch, or cook portions, as needed. If you're using all the meat, add about half of the sauce to start – you can always add more if you need it. Cook for at least 10 minutes, so the meat can absorb the barbecue flavor and the sauce is coating the meat without it being soupy.
- Serve the barbecue pork on hamburger buns, and pass the extra sauce at the table. Cole slaw makes a great side dish or garnish on the sandwiches.
- If you’re avoiding wheat, try barbecue nachos – serve the barbecue pork along with tortilla chips, a side of slaw, and extra sauce for dipping and drizzling.