We recently came across Michael Bauer's April review of The Tipsy Pig, a popular, new gastropub in our area (for more on the gastropub phenomenon, check out this article published in Art Culinaire). His description of the "rich, gooey, and wonderful" pork sliders, made us yearn for our own, especially since we've tried a few times to get into TTP for dinner, but couldn't make it past the human wall of inebriated 20-somethings. These moist and juicy sliders are perfect for those times when you want to serve BBQ of some sort to a crowd, but you don't have a lot of time to spend at the grill. And they can be eaten in the peace of your own home.
3 TBSP canola oil
4 lb boneless (or with minimal bones) pork shoulder, cut into 3 equal pieces
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
1 to 2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper, freshly ground
24 soft dinner rolls
1. In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork pieces and brown well on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
2. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the frying pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom.
Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble.
4. Pour sauce over the pork. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 4-5 hours. The pork should be very tender when finished.
5. Transfer the pork pieces to a platter. Using a pair of forks, shred each piece of pork, removing and discarding any large pieces of fat and bones (if there are any). Refrigerate the juice till the fat hardens, a few hours or overnight. Skim off the excess fat from the surface of the sauce and return the pulled pork to the sauce. Stir together to combine and reheat on the stove top.
6. Spoon the pork and sauce on top of the bottom half of a dinner roll. Top with homemade or good quality prepared coleslaw. Place other half of roll on top, repeat with other rolls and and serve.
Makes 24 sliders
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 to 5 hours
Total Time: 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours