Aug 13, 2012

Pulled Pork Sliders + Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

There are some combinations that never fail. Pulled pork + barbecue sauce + slider works for me every time. Not that I eat them often. It´s a new discovery in my kitchen. I´ve had different variations of these mini sandwiches, but not with pork.

Now I´ve stumbled upon the perfect way to cook pulled pork, which according to my recipe is slow roasted. Just rub the piece of pork with a dry combination of spices and salt, cover it with foil and pop it into the oven for at least 4 hours at a very low temperature. The result is fantastic.
About the meat, my absolute favorite is boneless pork shoulder (bondiola de cerdo). It´s the most flavorful and with the right amount of fat to make a succulent slider. So for now, I will give my other favorite pork recipe a rest. 

Well, this is it. And it´s incredibly good. So much so, that I´m giving it as a gift to three wonderful bloggers who gave me two awards a while ago. It was about time I thanked them and passed them on to another list of amazing bloggers.

But let´s focus on the rest of the recipe first, which consists of different parts.
The bread part of this slider is my go-to recipe when I need white sandwich bread. The one I make at the Café for morning toast. Leftovers make great croutons and of course it freezes beautifully. The recipe yields two loaves or about 25 sliders. The shape and size is up to you. You want burger buns? Make them bigger. Just don´t proof them too much at the end since you don´t want too much crumb. You want your filling to be the star.

The roasted pork comes from one of my favorite celebrity chefs. That sandwich book he published is serious stuff. The spice combination that´s used to rub the meat struck me as very odd at first. Anise star, cloves..? Is this gingerbread we´re roasting? Well, he´s a great chef and this is proof of it. Simply spectacular.

Today I took the liberty of pairing it with my favorite barbecue sauce. Last week I made a wrap with melted fontina cheese, avocado and pickles and it was amazing. So this is definitely a versatile pork recipe.
The barbecue sauce here starts with ketchup and is just a matter of mixing everything together and simmering it for fifteen minutes. So there´s no excuse. You can have it hotter or milder depending on the amount of red pepper sauce you use. It has bourbon, which is an ingredient I love. How can that not be good? 

It´s the first barbecue sauce I ever made and it´s still my favorite. The recipe is form a turn-of-the-millenium Bon Appetit magazine (July 2000) and you can find it here. I use two teaspoons of Tabasco in my sauce, but as you will see it calls for 3 Tbs…glup!


For each individual slider use about:

1 white slider bun (recipe below)
1/3 cup shredded pork (recipe below)
2 Tbs barbecue sauce (recipe below)

from ´Wichcraft, by Tom Colicchio with Sisha Ortuzar


1 Tbs caraway seeds
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
½ Tbs black peppercorns
½ cup kosher salt
1 (1 ½ pounds / 700g) boneless pork shoulder


Preheat oven to 250ºF / 120ºC.
Combine caraway, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns in a spice grinder and process until they have the coarseness of salt. Combine the spices with the salt.
Rub the pork vigorously with the spice mixture until completely covered. Place the meat in a roasting pan or ceramic ovenproof dish, cover tightly with foil and cook for 4 hours, turning once or twice during this time. The meat should be fork-tender and some of the fat should have rendered into the bottom of the pan. Transfer the meat to a plate and reserve some of the liquid.

Before the final rise

barely adapted from The Bread Bible, by Beth Hensperger

Note: if using active dry yeast mix ½ cup of the water with a pinch of the sugar in small bowl. Add yeast and let stand a few minutes until foamy before adding as specified in the recipe.
This bread is ideal to bake in loaf pans and used for sandwiches or toast.


5 to 6 cups (700 to 850g) bread flour
2 Tbs (30g) sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tbs instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 cup lukewarm water
3 Tbs (45g) unsalted butter, room tº
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling


In the bowl of a stand mixer put 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, water and milk. Add yeast (instant or active dry mixture) and beat with the paddle attachment until combined. Add butter gradually, then add 1 cup flour and beat for 3 minutes.
If making bread by hand, follow the same instructions but use a big bowl and the handheld electric mixer.
Change to the dough hook and start adding flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough becomes supple and smooth. Knead for 8 minutes on low to medium speed.
By hand, add flour ½ cup at a time until you have a shaggy dough. Dump onto a floured board and knead, adding extra flour if needed to make a supple, smooth dough. Knead for 10 minutes.
Transfer dough to a deep, greased container, turn upside down so that every side is greased, cover and let rise until doubled in volume, aprox 1 hour.
Punch down, transfer to a floured surface and knead for a minute. Divide in pieces depending on the size of your buns, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
Take each piece of dough, flatten it, gather all sides again in the middle, turn it over and with the palm of your hand around the dough, start making circles to your left (counter-clock) until a smooth round is formed. Place in a baking tray dusted lightly with cornmeal. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.
Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise for half an hour, until they are a bit risen. Don´t let them double since you don´t want to much crumb in these buns.
Preheat oven to 400ºF / 200ºC about 15 minutes before baking.
Carefully brush buns with water and sprinkle with seeds if you want to.
Bake for 5 minutes, turn the oven tº to 375ºF / 180ºC and bake for 15 minutes more or until golden and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before using.

To make whole wheat buns: substitute the first 3 cups white flour for whole wheat flour. You can also use honey instead of sugar. 

Ready to go into the oven

Now let´s talk awards.

I received the Addictive Blog Award from Cindy over at Cindy´s Recipes and Writings, and from Guru Uru, over at Go Bake Yourself, who also gave me the One Lovely Blog Award together with Ellie from The Boo, The Bear and The Goji Berries.
These nominations are a hug from other bloggers who like what you do and keep this virtual food sharing going on. Their blogs are amazing, they are talented and worth every minute I spend checking them out. You should too!

Thanks you girls!  I´m passing them over to:


  1.! These sliders look incredible...I can only imagine how tender that pork is and the BBQ sauce sounds amazing! And those rolls are just beautiful. This is such an amazing meal! I can see why you received the awards! Congrats! So well deserved! : )

  2. Thanks Paula for the award, you are so lovely!!!
    The buns looks perfect, I love those because are soft and you can eat them even plain, but I'm agree with you, eating with that delicious pork could send me to heaven.

  3. Pulled pork + barbecue sauce = heaven! Bondiola is my go-to cut for slow-cooked/braised pork goodness. I love that you did these sandwiches as sliders. I'll have to try my hand at making the mini buns. They're so cute!

    Thank you so much for the award! Much appreciated.

  4. I think this pork could be done just as well in a slow cooker, something I have on the counter all Winter. I like that you made the entire meal from scratch. Way to go.

  5. Paula, could you mail one of these to Oz? It looks delicious!!!

  6. Looks wonderful…I’d like one sent my way, too!! Congrats on your award, Paula!!

  7. This sounds amazing. I'd love a huge great bite of one.

  8. Oh my gosh this looks freaking amazing. I'll take 5. Okay, make that 6.

  9. Very tasty looking siders. Congrats on the award!

  10. Congratulations on your award and thank you so much for passing it along :-)
    Love your "from scratch" sliders. Yum

  11. The best roast is the shoulder. High in fat and connective tissue, the shoulder is also the most flavorful part of the hog. The pork shoulder is typically cut into two parts, the Boston Butt and the Picnic Roast.


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