Pork and Beans Sandwiches
A total crowd-pleaser, the succulent, falling-off-the-bone meat and creamy beans don’t even take a lot of work.
For the pork and beans
- 1 pound dried navy beans or Great Northern beans
- 4 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bone-in pork shoulder (8 to 10 pounds), skin on, room temperature
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
For the pickled vegetables
- 2 red onions, sliced into rings
- 3 jalapeno chiles, sliced lengthwise
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Coarse salt
For assembling the sandwiches
- 20 potato buns, split
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
Make the pork and beans: Place beans in a pot; add water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 1 hour. Drain.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate using a slotted spoon. Season pork shoulder generously with salt and pepper, and sear, skin side down, in Dutch oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip, and repeat on opposite side.
Return bacon to Dutch oven, and add drained beans, brown sugar, molasses, ketchup, and 1 tablespoon salt. Add water to cover (about 3 cups). Cover, and bring to a simmer. Transfer to oven, and braise, basting every hour, until beans are thick and syrupy and pork is falling off the bone, about 6 hours.
Meanwhile, make the pickled vegetables: Combine onions and jalapenos in a bowl. Bring cider vinegar, granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over onions and jalapenos. Let cool.
Transfer pork shoulder to a cutting board. Stir white vinegar into beans. Shred pork using two forks, and return to pot.
Assemble the sandwiches: Serve pork and beans on buns with shredded cabbage and pickled vegetables.