Of all the dishes I make for my family, this one is the most renowned. Buddy Merritt, a pitmaster from Arkansas, sent me some pulled pork as part of a barbecue care package, and I knew there had to be some other practical applications beyond just sandwiches for the smoky, savory, shredded meat. When I threw some into egg roll wrappers with spicy barbecue sauce and coleslaw, I knew I was onto something. Since then, I have both pan-fried and deep-fried them with equal success. I highly recommend serving them with a peanut dipping sauce, though plain old hot sauce is totally OK, too.
Swap option: Instead of shredding the cabbage and carrots yourself, you could use one 14-ounce package of coleslaw mix.
- 1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1½ tablespoons finely ground espresso
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard powder
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup + 5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups apple juice
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 (6- to 8-pound) boneless pork shoulder/butt (blade roast)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons dill pickle juice
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 ounce shredded green cabbage
- 1 ounce shredded red cabbage
- 1 ounce shredded carrot
- 4 cups pulled pork (recipe above)
- 24 egg roll wrappers
- 1½ cups prepared coleslaw (recipe above)
- 2 cups prepared barbecue sauce, preferably spicy
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten, for egg wash
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- prepared peanut sauce or hot sauce, for serving (optional)
For the pulled pork:1.
In a large bowl, add the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, espresso, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, mustard powder, cinnamon, 5 teaspoons kosher salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container in the pantry.2.
In a large, heavy stockpot set over medium heat, whisk together the apple juice and the vinegar. Whisking continuously, pour in the sugar and remaining salt. Continue whisking until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, but do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. When the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool completely.3.
Place the pork shoulder in a large aluminum baking pan. Add the cooled marinade, cover the pan and let the pork marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cooking or, if you can, overnight.4.
Remove the meat from the marinade; discard the marinade. Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season well with the pork rub.5.
Place the roast in an aluminum pan, fat-side down and uncovered.6.
If cooking pork on a grill: Heat the grill to 550 F and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes, until the temperature has lowered to about 300 F. Place the pan on the grill and cook for about 2½ hours total. The pork is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 150 F.7.
If cooking pork in the oven: Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place in the oven for about 2½ hours. The pork is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 150 F.8.
Remove the pork from the smoker or oven, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 30 minutes (it will continue to cook when it's off the heat, raising the internal temperature to the recommended 160 F).9.
After the pork has rested, pull it, chop it or slice it as you wish.
For the coleslaw:1.
First, mix all liquid ingredients together first, then add in seasonings. Refrigerate immediately.2.
Combine shredded vegetables and toss in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Let sit for a bit, then drain off any liquid at the bottom of the bowl.3.
Pour in dressing mixture, mix thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
For the egg rolls:1.
Set a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and fill a small bowl with water.2.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of meat in the center of the wrapper, then top with about 1 tablespoon of coleslaw and a scant tablespoon of barbecue sauce. Using your fingertip, moisten all four edges of the wrapper with water. Fold two opposite corners in toward the center, then fold up the bottom edge and roll into a long, skinny cigar. Place the finished roll on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Brush the filled rolls with the egg wash.3.
Fill a large pot with about 4 inches of oil and heat and set it over medium heat. Using a deep-frying thermometer, heat the oil until it reaches 375 F. Working in batches of 3 or 4 at a time, using a slotted spoon, gently place the rolls into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown all over, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Again, using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve hot with peanut sauce or hot sauce on the side if desired.