Open-faced pulled pork sandwiches

Sometimes in the middle of the dark, cold, windy, snowy winter, I pay like $10 and go to a tanning salon. It’s not so much that I feel the need for glowing skin — I’m resigned to the fact that I’m pasty — but it’s that 5 minutes under fake sunlight that makes me feel almost overjoyed. I think it’s the Vitamin D.

Sometimes in the middle of the dark, cold, windy, snowy winter, I make picnic-like foods. It’s not so much that I feel the need for cookout cuisine, but it’s that taste of sunshine that makes me feel almost overjoyed.

So we had a picnic this weekend. At our kitchen table. With snow falling all around outside our house.

I made Real Simple’s open-faced pulled pork sandwiches with an apple cider vinegar and onion slaw on top.

Since the onion slaw has to refrigerate for at least four hours, I started with that by slicing a red onion.

I added some apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

I stirred it all up, put the lid on it and put it in the fridge.

Then I made the sauce for the pulled pork. In the crock pot, I added some more cider vinegar, salt, pepper, some chopped yellow onion, tomato paste, light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and Cajun seasoning.

For the Cajun seasoning, I used Penzeys 33rd and Galena spice rub.

I stirred it together and threw the pork shoulder in there. My crock pot is pretty small so things tend to overflow. I really should have cut the pork down before adding it in there, but whatevs. At some point through the cooking process, I did cut the pork into several pieces, just so things fit in there better.

I put the crock pot on high and put the lid on top.

After four hours of cooking, I took each piece of pork out and used two forks to shred the pork. If it seems to hard to shred, the pork isn’t done yet.

I added the shredded pork back into the cooking liquid, as I continued to shred each piece of pork.

To assemble the sandwiches, I layered a thick piece of crusty bread with a slice of cheddar cheese, the pulled pork with some of the sauce and the onion slaw.

OPEN-FACED PULLED-PORK SANDWICHES (adapted from Real Simple):
1 medium red onion, sliced
6 tb. Cider vinegar, divided into 4 tb. and 2 tb.
3/4 tsp. salt, divided into 1/4 tsp. and 1/2 tsp.
1/2 tsp. pepper, divided in half
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/4 c. tomato paste
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tb. Worcestershire sauce
1 tb. Dijon mustard
1 tb. Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
4 thick slices sandwich bread, toasted
4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese 

In a medium bowl, mix together the red onion, 4 tb. of the vingear and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

In a 4- to 6-qt. slow cookier, mix together the yellow onion, tomato paste, sugar, worcestershire sauce, mustard, cajun seasoning, the remaining 2 tb. of vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover and cook until the pork is very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Using two forks shred the pork and mix it into the cooking liquid. Serve over bread and sliced cheese to make open-faced sandwiches, with the onion mixture on top.

Printable recipe here.

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