Pulled Pork with Mint Julep Barbecue Sauce



  • 1 (5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 12 sesame seed-topped sandwich buns, split and warmed
  • 12 dill pickle spears

Mint Julep Barbecue Sauce

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/3 cup coarse-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot-pepper sauce


  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly coat a large baking pan with vegetable oil.
  2. Pork: Rub the pork shoulder with the pepper flakes, salt, pepper and mustard seeds, and place in the baking pan. Pour the cider and vinegar over and around the pork. Scatter the onions, garlic and bell pepper over and around the pork. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Roast for 3 hours.
  4. Uncover and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 180 degrees F, about 1 hour.
  5. While the pork is roasting, make the sauce.
  6. Mint Julep Barbecue Sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and ginger and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the tomato puree, molasses, mustard, bourbon, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, salt and pepper.
  8. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 2 hours. Discard the lemon slices. Stir in the mint and Tabasco sauce.
  9. Remove the pork from the oven, and transfer to a plate. Let stand for 1 hour.
  10. Reserve the roasted vegetables.
  11. Using two forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with one fork and pulling it away with the other, discarding any fat. Place the shredded pork in a bowl.
  12. With a slotted spoon, transfer the roasted vegetables to the bowl with the pork.
  13. Mix the sauce with the shredded pork. Stuff each bun with some of the pork and serve immediately, with the pickle spears on the side.

Cook's note: You may need to add Wild Turkey or Jim Beam bottled barbecue sauce to moisten and spice up the meat a bit.

Source: iowaalive.com - May 1, 2001