Eastern North Carolina cheater chopped pork sandwich

Yield
8 sandwiches (this reheats really well so you do not have to eat it all at once)
Prep Time
schedule 10 minutes
Cook Time
schedule 3 hours and 30 minutes
Total Time
schedule 3 hours and 40 minutes

This is a cheater version of one of the sandwiches I most remember from my youth. It's not smoked, but if you're excited about trying an Eastern North Carolina style pork sandwich, this one will get you there with minimal effort for maximum gain.

Ingredients:

Chopped pork and rub
  • 3-to-4 pound bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

Wipe down and dry your pork shoulder or pork butt. And your regular butt if needed. Wash your hands. 

In a small bowl add your salt, smoked paprika and black pepper. Mix well. This is your rub.

Cover and rub your pork fully with all your rub. Make sure no parts of the pork are unseasoned. 

In a dutch oven or large oven safe pot, add your fully seasoned pork and place it in the middle. 

Pour 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into the dutch oven or pot, around the pork. 

Add a lid or cover to your oven safe pot and add it to the pre-heated oven. 

Cook for 3 hours with the cover on the pot. If you don't have a cover, you can cover the pot with aluminum foil.

Once 3 hours are over, remove the cover/lid for the pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes. 

Remove pork from the pot (don't discard any liquid left in the pot just yet), place it on a cutting board and allow meat to rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour and then pull meat from the bone and use two forks to separate it. If you really want the Eastern North Carolina experience, take your sharpest chef knife or cleaver, and finely chop the pulled pork.

After you pull the pork and/or chop it, add all of the meat to a container that you can store in your refrigerator (unless you plan to eat it all in one sitting). If there was any liquid left in the pot you cooked the pork in, you can pour that into the container with all of the meat. 

For sandwich assembly: grab a bun for each sandwich, add some chopped pork, add desired amount of sauce to the pork and top it with slaw. Cover with the top bun and serve.

Notes:

If you have leftover pulled/chopped pork, store it in the fridge for no more than 5 days or so. You can easily reheat one sandwich worth of meat in a small bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds or a minute. Or if you want to heat a large amount of meat, you can do that in a pot on the stove on medium heat until it's warm enough to serve. 

This pork freezes really well too, so if you want to store some for the future, I suggest portioning it out into small freezer zip top bags and storing in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


Have you made this recipe? Tag @beerinator and let him know!



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