Today I thought it would be good to make some pulled pork shoulder. If you make pork shoulder, you gotta have BBQ sauce and buns and coleslaw to go with it, so I made those too! After finding a plethora of recipes this morning, I went to the store and got my supplies.
When I got home, I started the bread rising. I used a recipe for hamburger buns that I will for sure make again. I found the recipe months ago when I was reading food blogs with Flipboard on my iPad. The buns were light and fluffy, even with whole wheat flour subbed for half the regular flour. The recipe can be found here: Hamburger Buns and I can’t say enough about how many things I have learned from this website. They have a lot of really helpful, basic recipes that I have been trying lately.
Homemade Hamburger Buns (Makes 8 buns)
1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
1/2 cup (4 oz) warm water
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk (2%)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large bowl, if mixing by hand), stir the yeast into the warm water and let it sit until dissolved. My mixer’s dough hook couldn’t reach the water/yeast mixture so I stirred it by hand.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, sugar, and salt. Add this to the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Add all the flour and stir until it forms a shaggy dough. Knead at low speed (around 2 on my Kitchenaid), or by hand against the counter, for 10 minutes. The finished dough should be smooth, feel slightly tacky, and spring back when poked.
Cover and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Dust your work surface with a little flour and turn out the risen dough on top. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each into a tight ball. I ended up with 9 rolls because some of mine were a little smaller Transfer the balls to a baking sheet and let rise until they look puffy and hamburger-sized, roughly 30-40 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Bake the buns until golden, 15-18 minutes.
Let the buns cool to room temperature before slicing and using. They are best if eaten within the next day or two, but will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week.
Additional Notes (from the original post):
• For Whole Wheat Buns – Substitute 1/2-1 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and prepare the recipe as usual. The texture of the buns will be a bit more dense, but still very delicious and burger-worthy. – I followed this suggestion and they turned out awesome.
• Doubling the Recipe – Double all of the ingredients except for the yeast. To make even more buns, it’s best to prepare separate batches as the dough becomes too cumbersome to work with easily.
• Freeze Buns for Later – Wrap the buns in aluminum foil and then store in an air-tight container or freezer bag. Let them thaw in their packaging overnight on the counter. Foil-wrapped buns can also be thawed more quickly or re-warmed in a 300°F oven for about 10-15 minutes.
While the buns were rising, I cut up the onions and got the tomatoes ready for the pulled pork shoulder recipe I was following. The recipe can be found here: Pulled Pork Shoulder I decided to use a basic recipe to start out with and when I got the hang of making it, I would try something new. I changed two things when I made it today. First, I didn’t use carrots because I thought it would be a waste. We probably wouldn’t eat them after they had cooked for 3 hours so they would have just gotten thrown away. Secondly, I added chili powder to the dry rub. I did 1tsp of cumin and 1tsp of chili powder instead of 2tsps of cumin. Cumin is one of those spices that is very strong and I don’t like a lot of it in anything I eat.
Shredded Pork Shoulder
Adapted from thekitchn.com
3.5 pound pork shoulder, bone-in
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 12-ounce beer (I used Blue Moon Honey Wheat Ale because it looked tasty)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Trim the pork shoulder of any thick layers of fat. Mine had barely any fat on it so I just left it all. Combine the brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the pork all over with the spice mixture. Make sure you get it in all the little nooks and crannies. Let the pork to sit out for 30 minutes. (This was just enough time for me to bake off the hamburger buns)
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the pork from the pot. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and beer. Bring it to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to bring up any browned bits.
Return the pork to the pot. Cover and put in the oven for 3 hours or so, checking once or twice, until the meat is extremely tender and pulls away from the bone easily or reaches around 200F. My bone ended up being a tiny shard of a bone so it came out pretty easily. I made sure to check the temperature of the meat before I took it out, just to be sure. Shred the pork in the pot, using tongs to separate the meat from the fat. This worked pretty well for me but toward the end, it was easier to take the meat out and put it on a cutting board to get the fat off and shred it. If you do it this way, just add it back to the pot when you are done shredding it. I threw away the bone but you could just as easily use it for some kind of soup or something if you are so inclined.
While the pork shoulder was bubbling away in the oven, I started on the barbecue sauce. This recipe came from Bobby Flay and Foodnetwork.com. I used only the sauce recipe on this page: BBQ Sauce I have to say that I was disappointed in the sauce at first. While it cooks, it is really thin and chunky. I didn’t want it to be that way. The flavor was really good but I did change a couple of things in this one as well. First, I had a bunch of stewed tomatoes so I used those instead of diced tomatoes. Second, I decided to blend the mix to make it semi-smooth. I had used the food processor to do the onions for this recipe anyway so I thought it would be a good idea to throw it in there to get it the consistency I wanted. I also put the very first jalapeno from my garden this year into this recipe! 😀
Adapted from Bobby Flay
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until soft. I burned mine so I had to swap out pans! Be careful with this step! 😀 Add the fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes and juices, vinegar, honey, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce, and cook until the sugar has completely melted and the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. The sauce never really reduced down and it filled my house with vinegar gases! I cooked it for a good 2 hours and it reduced, it just never got thick. If you are looking for a thick BBQ sauce, just pulse it a few times in the food processor and put it back in the pot to keep it warm. Season with salt, to taste.
Finally, while everything else was simmering away and the buns were cooling, I made the coleslaw. I wanted a pretty basic traditional recipe for this and it turns out, Bobby Flay has one! Coleslaw
I adapted this recipe by changing up the amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream. I don’t like to use that much mayo in anything I am making so I cut that and added a little more sour cream to the mix. I think it came out pretty awesome! It worked perfectly with the pork and the BBQ sauce.
2 bags shredded coleslaw mix (without dressing)
1/2 cup best-quality mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons grated yellow onion
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons celery salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired. I don’t like it to be too sweet so I didn’t add any more sugar. It did need a touch more salt and pepper though.
So here it is finally completed. I couldn’t wait to eat at this point, after smelling it all afternoon so the first shot is a little blurry. I loved this and I would absolutely make it again. Next time, I would mix the pork with the BBQ sauce AND the juices/onions it cooked in, I think. 😀 Even though there are subtle changes I would make or add to each recipe, they are still delicious the way they are!