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  • 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
  • garlic
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless pork shoulder, in a single piece
  • 1 tablespoon canola or other mild vegetable oil
  • 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)
  1. Preheat your sous vide water bath to 77°C (170°F).
  2. While the water is heating, make the spice rub. In a small bowl, mix together the salt,
  3. black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, celery seed, brown sugar, and garlic. Rub the
  4. mixture onto the pork, covering it evenly, then coat the pork evenly with the oil.
  5. Preheat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and
  6. sear, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 1 minute per side for a total
  7. of 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer the pork to a gallon-size freezer-safe ziplock bag and seal using the water
  9. displacement method.
  10. When the water reaches the target temperature, lower the bagged pork into the water
  11. bath (making sure the bag is fully submerged) and cook for 12 hours. I recommend
  12. checking the water bath every few hours to see that the bag is still fully submerged. I
  13. also suggest covering the bath with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to minimize
  14. evaporation.
  15. While the pork is cooking, make the vinegar sauce. In a small bowl or a liquid
  16. measuring cup, combine all of the ingredients and whisk to dissolve the sugar and
  17. salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.
  18. Up to 2 hours before the pork is ready, make a quick slaw for garnishing the
  19. sandwiches. Place the cabbage in a bowl, drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the
  20. vinegar sauce, add the mayonnaise (if using), and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
  21. When the pork is ready, remove the bag from the water bath and let it rest for 5
  22. minutes. Transfer the pork to a large bowl and pour the cooking liquid into a large
  23. liquid measuring cup. If desired, using a ladle or large spoon, skim off the fat from the
  24. surface.
  25. Cut the pork against the grain into 2-inch-thick slices, then shred by pulling the slices
  26. apart with two forks. Add ¼ cup of the vinegar sauce and ½ cup of the reserved
  27. cooking liquid to the shredded meat to moisten it, then taste and adjust with more
  28. vinegar sauce if needed.
  29. To assemble the sandwiches, place the bottom halves of the rolls, cut side up, on a
  30. work surface and divide the pulled pork evenly among them. Top with the cabbage
  31. slaw and a sprinkle of celery leaves, if using. Close with the top halves of the rolls and
  32. serve immediately.