CAROLINA PULLED-PORK SANDWICHES
- SPICE RUB
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground celery seed
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with the edge of a knife, or ¼ teaspoon granulated
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless pork shoulder, in a single piece
- 1 tablespoon canola or other mild vegetable oil
- VINEGAR SAUCE
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider or juice or water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded red or green cabbage, or a mixture
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought (optional)
- 4 Kaiser or other soft rolls, split in half
- ¼ cup loosely packed celery leaves (optional)
- Preheat your sous vide water bath to 77°C (170°F).
- While the water is heating, make the spice rub. In a small bowl, mix together the salt,
- black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, celery seed, brown sugar, and garlic. Rub the
- mixture onto the pork, covering it evenly, then coat the pork evenly with the oil.
- Preheat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and
- sear, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 1 minute per side for a total
- of 4 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the pork to a gallon-size freezer-safe ziplock bag and seal using the water
- displacement method.
- When the water reaches the target temperature, lower the bagged pork into the water
- bath (making sure the bag is fully submerged) and cook for 12 hours. I recommend
- checking the water bath every few hours to see that the bag is still fully submerged. I
- also suggest covering the bath with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to minimize
- While the pork is cooking, make the vinegar sauce. In a small bowl or a liquid
- measuring cup, combine all of the ingredients and whisk to dissolve the sugar and
- salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.
- Up to 2 hours before the pork is ready, make a quick slaw for garnishing the
- sandwiches. Place the cabbage in a bowl, drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the
- vinegar sauce, add the mayonnaise (if using), and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
- When the pork is ready, remove the bag from the water bath and let it rest for 5
- minutes. Transfer the pork to a large bowl and pour the cooking liquid into a large
- liquid measuring cup. If desired, using a ladle or large spoon, skim off the fat from the
- Cut the pork against the grain into 2-inch-thick slices, then shred by pulling the slices
- apart with two forks. Add ¼ cup of the vinegar sauce and ½ cup of the reserved
- cooking liquid to the shredded meat to moisten it, then taste and adjust with more
- vinegar sauce if needed.
- To assemble the sandwiches, place the bottom halves of the rolls, cut side up, on a
- work surface and divide the pulled pork evenly among them. Top with the cabbage
- slaw and a sprinkle of celery leaves, if using. Close with the top halves of the rolls and
- serve immediately.