Recipe of the week: Pulled pork: Messy and sublime

A good pulled-pork sandwich

A good pulled-pork sandwich “should be messy,” said Michael Mina, chef and owner of Stripsteak restaurant in Las Vegas, and Francine Maroukian in

Esquire. But it’s the perfect hassle-free dish that you can make a day ahead for a tailgate party, picnic, or other outdoor meal. Don’t bother putting it on “a real serious roll”; that will only interfere with the meat’s sublime flavor.

Recipe of the week

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Michael Mina’s Pulled-Pork Sandwich

¼ cup dark-brown sugar, lightly packed

2 tbsp kosher or coarse salt

2 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp ground coriander

½ tsp dry mustard

½ tsp onion powder

1 boneless pork butt, about 3 lbs

1½ cups apple juice

½ cup water

1 package plain, soft white rolls or other bread

Tip: You can buy bone-in or boneless pork butts. Both have their benefits. Cooking bone-in will contribute some flavor (and increase the cooking time slightly). But if you have your butcher take out the bone, rub the spice mix into the incisions where the bone was removed—a great way to get the flavor deep inside the meat.

Mix brown sugar and dry spices together in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over pork, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for as long as you have time (as little as 1 hour or as long as overnight).

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay pork inside a roasting pan on a rack insert. (The rack should be high enough so the entire spiced butt sits above the cooking liquid.) Pour in apple juice and water, cover pan tightly with foil, and slow roast for 5 hours.

Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes, until pork is brown on the outside and the meat is very tender, nearly falling apart. Remove from oven, transfer to large platter, and allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, shred pork into small pieces, using two forks or 10 fingers. Transfer to bowl for serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to two days.

To reheat, transfer to shallow baking dish, bring to room temperature, then place in preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Sandwich between rolls and partner with bourbon-baked beans, jalapeño creamed corn, or other classic barbecue-side dishes.

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