Pulled Jerk Pork with Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Where delicious intersects with outstanding.

June 5, 2013

A slow cooker makes this juicy barbecue a matter of set it and forget it. Slathering the pork with Jamaican jerk paste is an unexpected choice that keeps the meat beautifully moist. It also creates a feisty-tasting pot licker that reducing turns into a mouth-tingling barbecue sauce.

Serves: 10
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 5 hr 10min
Total: 5hr 25 min


  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero chile pepper, seeded and quartered, or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 (4-4 1/2-pound) boston butt, with the bone and skin on 1 side
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) beef broth


  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 10 hamburger or other soft buns, split

1. In a food processor, whirl all the jerk paste ingredients except the both to a pulpy puree.

2. Pat the jerk paste all over the meat, coating it liberally. Place the pork in a 4-quart slow cooker. Pour in the broth, cover, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the meat shreds easily when pulled with a fork.

3. Transfer the meat to a plate and reserve the cooking liquid, about 3 1/2 cups. When the meat is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin, then pull the meat away from the bone in chunks, discarding the bone and gristle. On a platter, use 2 forks to pull the chunks apart into fine shreds. There will be 7 to 8 cups of shredded meat.

4. For the sauce, pour the reserved cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and boil until reduced to 2 1/2 cups. Reserve 1 cup of the reduced liquid, saving the rest to use for soup stock, or discard. Add the vinegar, sugar, and pepper flakes (if using), to the reduced liquid and boil over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, 2 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 cups

5. For serving now: Combine the pulled pork in a saucepan with enough of the sauce to moisten it and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. For each serving, spoon 3/4 cup of the meat over the bottom of a bun. Moisten with more of the sauce and serve, passing extra sauce separately.

To freeze: Cool the sauce to room temperature. Combine 2 cups of the pulled pork with 1/2 cup of the sauce in resealable 1-quart plastic freezer bags and seal. Seal any remaining sauce in another bag. Refrigerate the pulled pork and extra sauce on plates until chilled. Lay the chilled meat and sauce on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and freeze.

To defrost and serve: Defrost the pulled pork on a plate in the refrigerator, about 8 hours.Thaw the sauce on another plate for 4 hours. Or thaw in a large bowl of cold water, changing the water every 15 minutes. Heat the pork with as much of the sauce as needed, tasting to adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve the pulled meat on the buns, passing extra sauce. freezer note Anytime the flavor in defrosted meat and sauces seems bland, adding an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, sharpens it up.

Recipe Tips
Boston butt is the meatier top half of a whole pork shoulder. If necessary, ask the butcher to remove the skin and fat from all but 1 side. Shredding the pork while it's warm yields more meat and let's you remove more fat and gristle than when it is room temperature.

Nutritional Facts per serving
Calories     421.6 cal
Fat     15.3 g
Saturated fat     5 g
Cholesterol     121.6 mg
Sodium     853.8 mg
Carbohydrates     28.1 g
Total sugars     8.2 g
Dietary fiber     3.8 g
Protein     40.3 g