Perfect tailgating snack or to put out on a buffet for guests. The acidity of the pickled onions makes them the perfect accompaniment to the falling-off-the-bone tender pork!
Bull Pulled Pork Sliders with Pickled Red Onions
makes 20 to 24 sliders
For the BBQ pork:
1 pork butt or pork shoulder roast; about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds with about 1/2-inch fat cap
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke
1 onion, sliced
16 ounces Bull Premium BBQ Sauce or other store-bought BBQ sauce
Slider or small burger buns
Pickled onions (recipe follows)
For the rub:
1 1/2 tablespoons Bull All-Purpose Rub or other all-purpose seasoning
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 to 3 cups hickory, apple, or maple wood chips (not mesquite) soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
V-shaped smoke box or other smoke box (if you don’t have a smoke box then wrap the soaked wood chips in aluminum foil with a few holes poked through)
Foil or other roasting pan
Instant read thermometer – the kind with a cable from the probe to the digital unit are best because you can set an alarm for a pre-programmed temperature
Place pork shoulder in a shallow bowl. Combine Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke; sprinkle over the pork and massage into the roast. Let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes, turning every 10 to 15 minutes. Stir together the rub ingredients until completely combined. Measure out 2 teaspoons of the rub mixture and set aside. Pat dry the pork and pat on the remaining rub mixture over the entire pork butt using all of the rub.
Set up grill and smoke box and make sure you have enough gas in the tank. Remove (and set aside) the grate from over the burners opposite of where the pork will sit. Place smoke box in between the heat shields. Add a handful of soaked wood chips to the box and turn the burner on high. When the chips begin to smoke (about 15 to 20 minutes), turn down the heat, close the grill cover and stabilize the temperature around 300°F. Once the heat is holding, place half of the sliced onion in a foil roasting pan. Set the pork, fat side up, over the onions and top with the remaining onions. Place pan on the cool side of the grill and close the cover. Every 45 minutes or so, check on the temperature and add another handful of wood chips to the smoke box. After about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, the pork will be lightly smoked. Cover the whole pan with foil and continue cooking (no need to add more wood chips). The total cooking time will be 4 to 6 hours depending on the size of the roast and how often the grill cover is opened. The pork will be ready and falling off the bone tender when the internal temperature reaches 195°F.
Remove the roast from the grill. Lift pork out of the pan, wrap in the foil, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine BBQ sauce, reserved rub mixture, and a couple tablespoons of de-fatted pan drippings to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Unwrap the pork and remove the the fat cap and any pieces of skin. Using your hands or a couple of forks, pull meat apart into strands 1/4- to 1/8-inch wide and a couple inches long. Transfer pork and any juices to the saucepan and stir to combine. Once heated through, you are good to go. Serve on slider buns with a pile of pickled red onions!
Pickled Red Onions
3/4 cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 allspice berries
5 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
[alternatively, you could use 2 teaspoons of pickling spice in place of the whole spices]
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and spice to a boil; stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the onion slices and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring and submerging the onions. Remove from heat and let cool in the pan. Once cooled to room temperature, transfer to an air-tight storage container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.