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BBQ Sauce + Simple = Pulled Pork Sandwiches

BBQ season isn’t over quite yet! It’s easy to buy barbecue sauce, but when you don’t have a bottle on hand,  your pantry staple ingredients can make one in minutes – and it’s inexpensive! Vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, chili and onion are the basis for sweet-tangy-hot  flavors of barbecue sauce. Get creative if you like by substituting salsa for all or part of the ketchup; vary the chili powder with chipotle, ancho or cayenne (careful with the heat!); add crushed pineapple for a chunky texture and fruit flavor; and many more creations like adding coffee or beer for a signature slather.  This basic Spicy Barbecue Sauce is perfect for a pulled pork sandwich, and it’s also good on chicken and beef.  Slow-cook the pork in the oven or barbecue, or try my speed-prep method for a dinner in less than 30 minutes.

And speaking of staples, how long can you keep pantry ingredients?  The website www.stilltasty.com is a super resource for how long and how best to store thousands of foods.

Print This Recipe
Makes 6 servings. (2-1/2 cups bbq sauce)
Prep and cook time: 2.25 hours
Prep and Speed Cook time: 25 minutes

1    cup seasoned rice vinegar (pepper flavor if available)
1    cup ketchup
1/2    cup packed brown sugar
4    teaspoons chili powder
1/2    teaspoon onion powder
3-4    pounds pork shoulder roast
6    sandwich rolls

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine rice vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder and onion powder in a small saucepan; simmer 5 minutes. Trim excess fat from pork; pierce several times with a fork and place in a resealable plastic bag or covered bowl with about 3/4 cup sauce. Reserve remaining sauce. Turn meat to coat evenly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove pork and discard marinade.
Bake (or grill over indirect medium heat) for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 175°F. Just before serving, bring reserved sauce to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Carve pork crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, shred by hand or with a fork, as desired. Layer sandwich rolls with pork and drizzle with warm barbecue sauce.
SPEED PREP: Prepare sauce as directed above. Place 3 pounds thick, boneless, center-cut pork chops on pre-heated medium-high heat grill (or under broiler); cook 5 minutes. Turn and cook 5 minutes more or until meat is no longer pink in center, brushing with about 1/2 cup sauce the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Thinly slice; layer on sandwich rolls and drizzle with additional sauce.
Nutrients per serving: 681 calories; 49g protein; 56g carbohydrate; 29g fat; 165mg cholesterol; 1,260mg sodium.

Recipe developed by Rosemary Mark, Photo styling by Victoria Roberts-Russell  

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  1. Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    This looks amazing! I braised a pork shoulder a couple months ago for a large family party and cooked it until it fell apart (a la Diane Kennedy) and just squirted some lime juice on it for some tacos, but I’m doing it with your BBQ sauce next time!

    • Rosie's Kitchen
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I bet those tacos were delish! Hope you like this bbq sauce 🙂