Fancied-Up Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Fancied-Up Pulled Pork Sandwiches with a red wine and rosemary sauce, lemon goat cheese spread and other fancy toppings. This pulled pork is made in the oven. Super-simple but sophisticated too. It’s my new favorite thing for tailgating and for fall potlucks! This recipe is sponsored by Columbia Crest. Click here to check out all of my Columbia Crest wine-pairing recipes.
Did you know that hogs are not native to North America? They were introduced to Florida and Alabama in around 1540 by Spanish explorer DeSoto.*
And am I ever glad they were. Pork is one of the best things about living in the south.
We have amazing bacon and salty rich hams. But the best thing of all is that Pulled Pork Sandwiches are on just about every menu everywhere. I can’t get enough of them at restaurants though so I make them at home too.
I usually do pulled pork on the grill over a low temperature with wood chips enclosed in foil for some smokey flavor. But for today’s recipe I thought I’d show you how to do pulled pork in the oven. The great thing about using either of these two methods is that you can simmer the pork in a sauce so that it gets infused with flavor. For today’s recipe I’ve fancied things up and cooked the pork in a red wine and rosemary BBQ sauce.
The pork butt simmers in the sauce for hours, getting flipped over every now and then. Then you shred the meat and mix it back into the sauce. Serve it heaped onto buns with some fancy toppings. The recipe below includes instructions to make a lemon goat cheese spread for the buns and suggests topping the sandwiches with radicchio leaves, tapenade and roasted peppers.
Since this is a fancy version of a pulled pork sandwich, I figure it needs a wine pairing. I’ve matched it up with the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah because the smoky, spicy and dark fruit notes of the wine stand up against the pungent rosemary, cheese and tapenade flavors in the dish.
Throw in this wine-pairing and these pulled pork sandwiches are fancy for sure. But they’re still as messy as any good pulled pork sandwich should be so bring napkins. Thank the heavens (and DeSoto) for pulled pork!
If you love slow cooked pork recipes, you’ll also want to check out my recipe for how to perfectly cook a pork roast.
And now, here’s the Fancied-Up Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe!
This recipe has lots of ingredients. But don’t get scared. The first half are just stirred together to make the sauce that the pork simmers in. The second half are the sandwich toppings that are mostly store-bought. Easy as can be! But nobody would guess because it’s kind of fancy. The pork is cooked in a red wine and rosemary sauce until very tender. Then, it’s piled onto buns with a goat cheese and rosemary spread, radicchio, roasted peppers and tapenade. These sandwiches are a perfect pair for the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah because the smoky, spicy and dark fruit notes of the wine can stand up against the pungent rosemary, cheese and tapenade flavors in the dish.
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar, divided
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 5 lb. pork butt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah wine
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. mustard powder
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 big sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 4 oz. plain goat cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp. lemon juice
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 8 large buns, split
- 8 radicchio leaves
- 8 large pieces of roasted red pepper (look for a brand that doesn’t include sugar in the ingredient list to avoid a sweet pickle flavor)
- ½ cup black olive tapenade (homemade or store-bought)
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Rub it all over the pork butt.
- In a small roasting pan or Dutch oven combine the water, wine, ketchup, remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, vinegar, mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce. Add the pork to the pan of sauce fat-side-down. Put a sprig of rosemary in the sauce on either side of the pork. Cook, flipping the pork over every hour, until very tender, about 3-4 hours.
- Transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest for 10-15 minutes. Drain any fat off of the sauce. Use two forks to shred the meat and then mix with as much sauce as desired.
- In a small bowl combine the goat cheese, mayonnaise, rosemary, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spread liberally onto the bottom of each bun. Top each with some of the pulled pork and then with a leaf of radicchio, a large piece of roasted red pepper, a scoop of tapenade, and then the lid of the bun.
*The info about the introduction of hogs to the US came from BBQconnectionllc.com.