Martha Stewart's Favorite Recipes

Braised Pulled Pork Sandwich

Yield: 10 SERVINGS

Homemade Texas barbecue sauce and dry rub along with the red fruit and round flavors of a Merlot gives this pulled pork incredible flavor. Searing in a Dutch oven followed by cooking in the oven at a low temperature makes for moist, tender meat every time. 



  • 8 to 10 pound bone-in Boston butt pork shoulder
  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Potato buns, for serving
  • Texas Barbecue Sauce, heated


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup neutral tasting oil, such as safflower
  • 2 onions, diced (about 5 cups)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cans (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes, plus 2 1/2 cups reserved juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar, plus more to taste



  1. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add coriander and cumin seeds and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until fragrant and toasted, about 1 minute. Let cool, then grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent and tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, spices, molasses, and brown sugar; stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, reserved juice, and cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and dark, about 1 hour.

  3. Let cool slightly then puree sauce in a blender. Add white vinegar and Worcestershire; puree until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and white vinegar. Sauce can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container; let cool completely before storing, and reheat over medium before serving.


  1. Place pork shoulder on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 teaspoons black pepper, paprika, dry mustard, cumin, and cayenne. Rub pork with spice mixture, being sure to cover all sides. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Remove pork shoulder from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat a large Dutch-oven over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Add pork shoulder to Dutch-oven and sear, turning, until golden brown all over, about 4 minutes per side.
  4. Add 2 cups water to Dutch-oven and position pork shoulder fat-side up, and cover. Transfer to oven and cook until meat shreds easily with two forks, 5 to 6 hours. Baste with pan juices every hour.
  5. When cooked, remove from Dutch-oven and shred meat with two forks. Serve meat on buns with barbecue sauce.

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