Ready for some fun flavors? Here comes an easy oven roasted pulled pork recipe!
Denise of Castello di Sinio decided we should do pulled pork with a homemade barbecue sauce recipe. I had no idea bbq sauce was so easy to make – also, the kiddo loves it!
Key takeaways from Denise’s oven roasted pulled pork recipe:
- The two most common pork cuts for roasting are pork butt and pork shoulder; note that both are part of the shoulder with the pork butt higher on the foreleg and the shoulder further down.
- The meat ratio of a shoulder pork cut is optimal at 30 percent fat to 70 percent lean.
- As both are tough and fatty, they do well with long, slow roasting, stewing, and braising.
- Denise instructed me to cut the pork into large pieces for more uniformity in the application of the rub as well as overall roasting.
- For this oven roasted pulled pork recipe, beer is used in cooking. Denise recommends either a dark ale or a lager. These style brews lend complex flavors that work beautifully with the meat and the rub.
- For this method, the lid stays on for the first couple hours, then the last hour or two, it comes off. Denise explains that we do this so that pork crisps up and the liquid reduces.
Cooking with beer
Beer has certain qualities that make it unique as a cooking ingredient. The most important ones are carbonation, balance, and the ability to take on flavors from adjuncts such as fruit, herbs, spices.
An American Meal and a Piedmont wine
We turned our meal into a pretty traditional American meal of pulled pork with Denise’s awesome homemade barbecue sauce recipe, even complete with coleslaw. I used Denise’s easy focaccia dough recipe in lieu of buns and it was perfect. But, you can also use these fab, decadent brioche buns, and top with coleslaw!
Find pulled pork wine pairing ideas below. There are some great Piedmont wine options!
Denise's Oven Roasted Pulled Pork with barbecue sauce
For the pork
- 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder
- 3 TBS packed brown sugar
- 1 TBS kosher salt
- 1 TBS smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 12 oz lager
For the barbecue sauce and sandwiches
- 1½ cup ketchup
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar (up to ⅓ cup for tangier sauce)
- ½ cup dijon mustard
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 1 TBS liquid smoke
- Buns, for serving
To make the pork
- Preheat oven to 300°F / 150°C. Trim excess fat from pork and cut into large pieces to fit in a large Dutch oven.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin, then season with black pepper. Rub all over pork. (This can be done the night before.)
- In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat oil. Working in batches, add pork and sear on all sides. (Spices can burn quickly so don’t let it go for too long!)
- Pour the beer around pork, then cover with the lid. Transfer to the oven and cook until pork begins to turn tender about 3 hours. Remove lid and cook until pork is very tender and pulls apart easily with a fork, about 1 to 2 hours more.
- Remove pork from Dutch oven and let rest while you prepare the barbecue sauce.
Make the barbecue sauce
- With the pan drippings in the Dutch oven whisk in ketchup, apple cider vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and Worcestershire. Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until it slightly thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Shred pork using two forks. Toss shredded meat with about half the barbecue sauce. Serve warm with buns and more barbecue sauce.
Oven roasted pulled pork wine pairing ideas:
Adjust your pulled pork wine pairing ideas based on the dry rub, but in general, a medium-bodied red with bright, fresh fruits offer a nice compliment to this rich and tangy dish. Think about a nebbiolo-based wine or freisa, a right-bank Bordeaux, or pinot noir. Also, Spanish reds always work well with heatspice.
For whites, you want the wine to have enough acidity and fresh fruit to cut through the richness of the dish. For a Piedmont wine, try a Roero Arneis or even a Langhe Riesling (of course, a riesling from just about anywhere works!)
Pulled Pork wine pairing: Francone Barbaresco DOCG Gallina 2017
For this recipe, I went with Francone in Neive’s 2017 Barebaresco (100 percent nebbiolo) from the Gallina cru in Neive. Gallina is known for its elegant and rich wines. The 2017s just released, so I was excited to see how they are drinking so young. I loved how the red and black fruits worked with the spice of the pulled pork with the tangy barbecue sauce.
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Chef Denise Pardini, Hotel Castello di Sinio: