Southern Pulled-Pork Sandwiches

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins

Pork shoulder, a well-marbled cut available at most supermarkets, turns fork-tender after long, slow cooking. Ours is especially succulent with a spice rub and vinegar.


  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 4 equal pieces

  • 1 ½ cups cider vinegar

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 8 soft sandwich rolls, split

  • Store-bought barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in lower and upper positions. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

  2. Place pork in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot; rub with spice mixture.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, and 1/2 cup water; pour over pork. Cover pot, and place in oven on lower rack. Bake until pork is very tender and separates easily when pulled with a fork, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

  4. Transfer pork to a work surface, reserving pan juices. With two forks, shred meat. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with pan juices to moisten (you may not need all the juices). Pile pork on rolls, and top with barbecue sauce, if desired.

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