Pulled Pork with Mint Julep Barbecue Sauce

Martin Blunos prepares food for a crowd with this fabulous recipe for tender shredded pork and piquant sauce served in sesame buns
By Martin Blunos
Pulled Pork with Mint Julep Barbecue Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 12 sandwiches
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the pork

  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2.5 kg bone-in pork shoulder
  • 2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 250 ml apple juice
  • 250 ml cider vinegar
  • 4 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, sliced

For the sauce

  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 3 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 500 ml tomato purée
  • 50 g black treacle
  • 90 g wholegrain Dijon mustard
  • 125 ml bourbon whiskey
  • 125 ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tsp tabasco, or other hot pepper sauce

To serve

  • 12 sesame burger buns, split and warmed
  • 12 slices gherkin


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 1. Lightly coat a large roasting tray with vegetable oil. Rub the pork shoulder with the chilli flakes, salt, pepper, and mustard seeds and place in the roasting tray.

2. Pour the apple juice and vinegar over and around the pork and scatter the onions, garlic, and red pepper over. Cover with a piece of baking parchment and wrap with foil.

3. Roast the pork for 3 hours. Uncover and continue to roast for 1 hour, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers. While the pork is roasting, make the sauce.

4. For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and ginger and fry for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the tomato purée, treacle, mustard, bourbon, vinegar, Worcestershire and lemon; season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until very thick.

6. Discard the lemon slices and stir in the mint and Tabasco.

7. Remove the pork from the oven, transfer to a plate and leave to rest for 1 hour. Reserve the roasted vegetables.

8. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Discard any fat and place the shredded pork in a bowl.

9. With a slotted spoon, transfer the roasted vegetables to the bowl with the pork. Stir in the sauce.

10. Fill each sesame bun with a handful of the pork and serve straight away with the pickle spears on the side.

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