Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Print Competitions


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Yes!Chef! loves pork.  Until he started cooking pork for me, I always turned up my nose at any mention of recipes that included pork.  My experience with pork has been dried up meat that needed lots of barbecue sauce in order to be able to choke it down.

My mind has been changed with some of the recipes Y!C! has made…specifically the Pressure Cooker Carnitas Recipe and the Pulled Pork Recipe he made last summer.  And now, he’s found a Pulled Pork Recipe that is more to his liking:  spicy, sweet and no-creamy cole slaw.

Pulled Pork Sandwich with No-Creamy Cole Slaw

I think you will agree that it looks pretty lip-smackin’ good.  I will warn you, though, it is spicy.  I was sweating a bit by the time I was done with the sandwich.  Maybe a beer would be a good choice to go with this sandwich.

Yes!Chef! found this recipe while he was looking at “America’s Test Kitchen” website.  Plan for this one, though, because it does take a bit of time.  The bonus is that this recipe is extremely economical because of the inexpensive piece of pork that is used.  The result of this Indoor Pulled Pork recipe is smoky, tender pork goodness…as if it was cooked low and slow on the outdoor barbecue.  If you’ve got some time, it is well worth the effort and you will appreciate the good taste you can achieve with not much investment of cash.

Speaking of cash…I entered my Camera Club’s print competition last week and won a little bit of cash. When I first started seriously studying photography, I joined the local camera club and soaked up all the information I could from some of the seasoned members of my club.  I loved the print competitions because they were “Open Judging”.  In other words, the judge would comment on each print, the good points and how it could be improved.  We always have a different judge for each competition drawn from the many wonderful Northern California photographers.

Eventually I tentatively entered the contest because I wanted the judges to give me recommendations on how to make my photography better.  The first couple of times were quite eye-opening and humbling.  My work was blurry, over/under-exposed, odd color and other technical issues.The Fam at Lake Tahoe 1995

Bad light, bad composition but cute subjects (my kids).

(I never entered the above photo in any competition, it’s just an example of where I was photographically speaking in the 1990’s.)

So, I studied photography, took classes and workshops and worked very hard to improve my skills, practicing on a daily basis.  I continued to enter into the competitions and finally started to win a little…and then a little more.  I entered the local County Fair competition and won a few more.  This time at my Camera Club, I won a few firsts and a Best Of Show – Black and White.  I would pat myself on the back, but I can’t quite reach (turns in circles trying to give herself a pat.)

Best of Show:  Black and White
Best of Show: Black and White
First Place:  Black and White Portrait
First Place: Black and White Portrait
First Place: Color Portrait
First Place: Color Portrait
Mystic Morning
First Place:  color Nature
First Place Black and White Event
First Place Black and White Event

If you are at all interested in photography and making improvements in your skills, you should really think about competitions.  They are nerve wracking and humbling, but you can grow from them. I still need work on many subjects such as wild life photography.  And macro or bug photography. And probably family photography.  Oh!  And food photography.

Now…where were we when we ran down this rabbit trail?  Oh, yes!  Yes!Chef! and Pulled Pork.

This recipe calls for the pork to be brined for about 2 hours.

Brining the Pork
Brining the Pork

Herbs, spices, etcThen you make a spice mixture and cover the meat with mustard mixture and spices.

pulled pork3

(I tried a little wide angle with the top picture of Y!C! just for fun. It does distort but it makes a fun picture. Y!C! was watching the basketball game, so he wasn’t too interested in what I was doing.)

Into the oven it goes and cooks for about 3 hours.

Initial cooking
Initial cooking

Then you take it out and do some other magic stuff to it like pouring off the liquid into a fat separator and then cook it some more.  (Refer to the recipe…I’m just the photographer.)

Making cole slaw
Making cole slaw

Meanwhile Yes!Chef! made the Cole Slaw (which I used to think was called Cold Slaw…as opposed to Hot Slaw, I suppose.)  He found that recipe on the net here:  Southern Cole Slaw Recipe.

(Whoa!  I just took a look at the above website and their food photography definitely needs work.  Maybe they should try entering a few competitions. Just sayin’.)

I mentioned above that Y!C! does not like creamy Cole Slaw.  He doesn’t really like mayo unless it’s hidden or melted or…well…not there.  He didn’t tell me how much he looked around for a satisfactory slaw recipe, but it probably took some time because most slaw recipes are creamy, mayo based.  I will admit that this one was pretty good and provided a nice cooling effect to the spicy pulled pork.

Pulling the pork
Pulling the pork

Once the pork had gone back in the oven for a certain length of time to brown up a little, the pulling began.  There really wasn’t much effort in the pulling process because the meat was so tender. Then he poured the sauce over the meat and mixed it all up until I couldn’t resist tasting it.  Good!  Spicy!  Good!

All the makings of a pulled pork sandwich
All the makings of a pulled pork sandwich

I think you will like this sandwich.  Yes!Chef! put it on a bun, but I ate it without the bread and it was pretty good.  Don’t forget the pickles!

Here’s the recipe link :

Indoor Pulled Pork with Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

Sweet paprika may be substituted for smoked paprika. Covering the pork with parchment and then foil prevents the acidic mustard from eating holes in the foil. Serve the pork on hamburger rolls with pickle chips and thinly sliced onion. Lexington Vinegar Barbecue Sauce or South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce (see related recipes) can be substituted for the Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce. Alternatively, use 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce thinned with ½ cup of the defatted pork cooking liquid in step 5. The shredded and sauced pork can be cooled, tightly covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat it gently before serving.
  • 1cup plus 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 boneless pork butt (about 5 pounds), cut in half horizontally (see technique below)
  • 1/4cup yellow mustard
  • 2tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2tablespoons smoked paprika (see note)
  • 1teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 1/2cups ketchup
  • 1/4cup light or mild molasses
  • 2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1. FOR THE PORK: Dissolve 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons liquid smoke in 4 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge pork in brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  • 2. While pork brines, combine mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons liquid smoke in small bowl; set aside. Combine black pepper, paprika, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and cayenne in second small bowl; set aside. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

  • 3. Remove pork from brine and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Rub mustard mixture over entire surface of each piece of pork. Sprinkle entire surface of each piece with spice mixture. Place pork on wire rack set inside foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place piece of parchment paper over pork, then cover with sheet of aluminum foil, sealing edges to prevent moisture from escaping. Roast pork for 3 hours.

  • 4. Remove pork from oven; remove and discard foil and parchment. Carefully pour off liquid in bottom of baking sheet into fat separator and reserve for sauce. Return pork to oven and cook, uncovered, until well browned, tender, and internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1½ hours. Transfer pork to serving dish, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

  • 5. FOR THE SAUCE: While pork rests, pour 1/2 cup of defatted cooking liquid from fat separator into medium bowl; whisk in sauce ingredients.

  • 6. TO SERVE: Using 2 forks, shred pork into bite-sized pieces. Toss with 1 cup sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

Make sure you go to the website because they have all kinds of information on technique which will ensure that your recipe comes out perfectly.  We watch the America’s Test Kitchen on PBS all the time.  They are all a bunch of geeky foodies, but their recipes cannot be beat and they spend a lot of time perfecting pretty much any recipe you can think of.  Good stuff.


Assembled Pulled Pork Sandwich
Assembled Pulled Pork Sandwich
Want a bite?
Want a bite?

Happy eating!

Published by

Karen Schmautz


16 thoughts on “Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Print Competitions

  1. This article amused me in so many ways; I feel almost as though I’m you, a few years back. First off, my boyfriend is a chef and I write the food blog that he does the cooking & creating for. Secondly, I am an aspiring photographer and have just recently decided to start honing my craft & start considering it professionally. I will definitely be looking into some contests after reading this! 🙂

    All of that aside, I love reading your posts and your photography skills are obviously amazing. We have been searching for the perfect pulled pork & will definitely be trying your recipe. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Thank you so much. I think if you don’t stick your neck out and get some feedback from some photographers that you admire, then you won’t/can’t grow. some of my really good photog buddies have kindly told me things about my photos that were hard to hear, but I grew from their constructive criticism. Let me know how you like the Pulled Pork.

  2. This looks so good! It’s really hard to find good pulled pork in London, so looks like I’ll be making this myself 🙂 and i think your pictures are wonderful, keep at it.

    1. Thank you! Pulled Pork is not easy to find around here, either. I certainly had never tried it until Y!C! made it. BTW, I enjoyed your champagne and hot dog post. I will drop by and leave a note.

  3. Great post and recipe! I make a slaw without any mayo at all – I just prefer it that way – and people always love it. I’m getting ready to do a similar post so I found your version really interesting. Always enjoy your posts!

      1. We always have leftovers and more leftovers! 🙂 It’s hard to find a small pork roast for just my husband and I, so I’ve found a lot of uses for pulled pork. lol!

  4. Yum!!! I would like to try that! I am a big fan of pulled pork, and the best one i tried was at a local restaurant here in Los Angeles. Haven’t been to the South so I haven’t really compared.

    I am new to WordPress and am planning to create a blog similar to yours. My husband and I met, and fell in love over food. His pasta creation and my tiramisu for dessert is how it all began. I am inspired to post our recipes and photos. Thank you for the post!

    1. Best of luck to you and your husband. I’m still pretty new at this myself, but if I can ever help you out, let me know.

      I have never tried Pulled Pork from the south either, but my husband went to High School in New Orleans so he was a little more familiar that me. he loved this recipe.

  5. I agree – dry pork is bleh. And the beer with this meat was a great combo! We loved this recipe too!!!!! Our favorite sauce by far was the Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce. I tried it again with the other two sauces (lexington vinegar and south carolina mustard) but this original one was definitely our favorite sauce. However they’re probably all worth trying to pick your favorite. I liked it plain, to really taste the meat (mmmmmmmmmm) and my husband preferred it with the buns/pickles/onions (also good!). This is sooooooooooo yummy and will definitely be a repeat recipe in our house!!!

    1. “We” are making pulled pork for my oldest son’s birthday party this weekend. Y!C! is trying a different recipe, so we’ll see how that goes. Thank you for your kind comments

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