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Pork Barbecue Sandwiches with Tomato-Based Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 8 sandwiches

Having lived in both Pennsylvania and eastern North Carolina, I can tell you that there is a major difference in pork barbecue sandwiches. I cannot say I like one more than the other. However, before I developed this recipe, it had been years since I had the PA version. It is made with a tomato-based sauce and chunky meat, as opposed to the NC shredded pork sandwich with a vinegar-based sauce, which is in the similar and related recipes. So, I decided it was time to make my own and it brought back wonderful memories of the sandwiches we used to get at the farmers' markets in Pennsylvania Dutch country when I was a kid.


Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove most of the visible fat from the roast. Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides. Add as much water as is needed to fill the bottom of the pan by about 1/4-inch. Cover tightly and place in oven until pork is very tender, about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Let pork rest about 15 minutes, then cut into small chunks. (The pork can be roasted a couple days ahead, cut up, placed in a sealed container, and refrigerated until needed. Reserve and refrigerate the cooking liquid for the sauce.)

Skim the fat from the cooking liquids. You should have about 1/2 cup broth. Place pan over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the onions and sauté until softened. Add the reserved broth and remaining ingredients, except the buns. Add the pork and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot in hamburger buns.

Notes: In Pennsylvania Dutch country, pork barbecue sandwiches are typically served with Pepper Cabbage, which is in the similar and related recipes.