Charlie Palmer’s Pulled Pork Sandwiches

548e44fca19711e299e522000a9e28c4_6Serves 8 to 10

I have carried this recipe with me for many years and while I don’t make it that often, it is always a hit with family and friends alike. There are so many flavors coming together in the pulled pork and the mango salsa adds a fresh and light consistency and taste to the sandwich. Make sure that the pork has enough time in the oven so that the meat literally falls apart which means that the cooking time needs to be longer if you increase the amount of meat used.

1 whole pork butt, about 8 pounds
10 cloves garlic, halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons crushed pepper flakes
1/2 cup honey
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 cups strong coffee
1 1/2 cups ketchup (my only recipe with ketchup…)
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dry mustar
Coarse salt
8 to 10 large buns

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pierce the pork all over with the tip of the paring knife, and then insert garlic halves into the slits.
Put the pork, fat side up, on a rack set in a large roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and roast until the meat pulls easily off the bone, 5 to 6 hours more.
Meanwhile, make the sauce in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until just wilted, about 4 minutes.
Add the cumin and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more.
Stir in the honey and cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
Add the orange juice, coffee, ketchup and sugar, vinegar, tomato paste and mustard, whisking to blend.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to come together.
Set aside.
When the pork is finished roasting, remove it from the oven, but leave the oven on.
Let the pork stand until cool enough to handle, at least 1 hour.
Pull the pork apart (it should shred easily) and transfer the meat and roasted garlic to the pot with the sauce.
Season with salt (about 1 1/2 teaspoons).
Bring the sauce back to a boil, cover the pot and return to the oven to slowly stew for 45 minutes.
Check and stir occasionally, if the sauce starts to get dry, add a little more coffee or a few spoonfuls of water.
Serve the pulled pork on the buns topped with the mango salsa.

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