Apple Jack Pulled Pork Buns
We're using apple juice and whiskey to produce one of my favorite versions of pulled pork. Which, by the way, we're not pulling it, it's more like smashing. Speaking of smash, the name comes from the fact that this was originally made with Jack Daniels®, but you can use any whiskey you want, like I did, or not at all. This is served with a very mustardy and acidic slaw specifically made to pair with the sweet pork.
- 2½ pounds pork shoulder roast
- 1red onion, diced
- 6cloves garlic, minced
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1pinch cayenne pepper
- ⅓cup bourbon whiskey
- ¼cup apple cider vinegar
- 3cups apple juice
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh chives, or to taste
- 8sesame seed burger buns
- 4cups finely shredded Savoy cabbage
- ⅔cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
- 2tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
- 2tablespoons prepared yellow mustard, or to taste
- 2tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½teaspoon salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
Step 1Cut pork shoulder into 2-inch chunks. Transfer to a stew pot. Add onion, garlic, kosher salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Pour in bourbon whiskey, apple cider vinegar, and apple juice. Stir to combine.
Step 2Place over high heat and bring to a simmer; stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer until meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
Step 3Use a spider strainer to transfer meat mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Step 4Turn heat back to medium-high and reduce cooking liquid to about 75%, skimming the fat off of the top if desired.
Step 5Reduce heat to low, stir in reserved pork, and use a potato masher to break pork into smaller pieces. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, to heat through and make sure pork absorbs sauce, 2 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Step 6For best results, refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.
Step 7Meanwhile, combine cabbage, peppers, green onions, mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and cayenne for slaw in a large bowl. Mix very well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
Step 8Reheat pork the next day over medium heat, stirring often. Stir in chopped chives.
Step 9Mix mustard slaw well and drain off any excess moisture. Serve pork with mustard slaw on sesame seed buns.