Pulled Pork Sandwich With Pickled Red Onion Recipe

Pulled Pork Sandwich With Pickled Red Onion Recipe
Staff Writer
Pulled Pork Sandwich With Pickled Red Onion Recipe
Pickled Red Onions/Flikr_Brianna.Lehman

This pulled-pork sandwich is one of the most popular items at Friedman’s, a jewel-box restaurant tucked inside New York City's Chelsea Market. The husband-and-wife owners present a modern spin on homemade American classics, with a focus on organic, seasonal ingredients and a friendly approach allowing easy substitutions for diners avoiding gluten, meat, or dairy. 

Ingredients

For the papaya BBQ sauce:

  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion small diced, preferably Vidalia
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup hot sauce, preferably Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the pickled onions:

  • 3 whole red onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 cup distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup salt

For the BBQ rub:

  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1/8 cup black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

For the pork:

  • One 6-8-pound pork butt or shoulder, with part of the fat trimmed off
  • 2 cups BBQ rub
  • Braising mix

For the braising mix:

  • 1 pound onions, coarsely diced
  • ½ pound carrots, coarsely diced
  • ½ pound celery, coarsely diced
  • ¼ can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • ½ gallon apple juice or cider
  • ½ gallon water
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup salt

For the sandwich:

  • 1 burger bun, preferably brioche
  • 4 ounces shredded pork
  • 2 tablespoons Papaya BBQ Sauce
  • 3 slices pickled onions

Directions

For the papaya BBQ sauce:

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, for about 30 minutes or until half the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine ingredients in the blender and puree till smooth. The sauce can be held for up to 10 days.

For the pickled onions:

Bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes and pour over the top of the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for two hours then refrigerate. These are best to be made a day or two in advance, but can be made while the pork is cooking. They will hold for a month or longer.

For the BBQ rub:

Mix all ingredients together.

For the pork:

Rub the pork thoroughly with the 2 cups of rub. Let sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature. While you wait prepare the braising mix.

For the braising mix:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine apple juice and water in a pan large enough to fit the whole pork butt. Next add the salt and sugar, stir till dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

Add the pork butt to the braising mix. The liquid should go half way up the side of the pork if not add a little extra water. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 5-6 hours or until a fork goes in with no resistance.

Once the pork is finished cooking, remove it from the liquid and let cool for 30-45 minutes. At this time shred with your hands till it is bite size pieces. Sampling at this time is encouraged

For the sandwich:

Slice the brioche bun in half. Add shredded pork and BBQ sauce to a sauté pan. Heat together until warm. Place pork on bun and top with extra BBQ sauce. Finish with pickled onions, close the bun, and serve immediately.

Pulled Pork Shopping Tip

Bone-in cuts tend to be slightly less expensive than their boneless counterparts, and have more flavor.

Pulled Pork Cooking Tip

According to the USDA, the recommended internal temperature for cooked pork should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.