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Prep 2 hrs
Cook 5 hrs
There is more to Memphis BBQ than their dry rub ribs. This recipe is inspired by the pulled pork sandwiches at Leonard’s Pit Barbecue, a favorite of locals since it opened in 1922.
- 1 (5 -7 lb) boston butt (bone-in pork shoulder roast)
- coarse salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 10 -12 hamburger buns
- barbecue sauce (your favorite tomato-based barbecue sauce)
Memphis Mustard Slaw
- 1⁄2 large head green cabbage (or 1 small head)
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper
- 1⁄4 cup yellow mustard
- 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- Make the slaw: remove the core from the cabbage and discard it; cut the cabbage into 8 chunks.
- Finely chop the cabbage in a food processor using the metal blade and pulsing the motor (this is a chopped, not a sliced or slivered slaw); work in batches so as not to overcrowd the processor bowl.
- Cut the bell pepper into the finest possible dice.
- Add the mustard, mayonnaise, and sugar in a mixing bowl; whisk until smooth; whisk in the vinegar, celery seed, and black pepper; add in the chopped cabbage and diced bell pepper; stir to mix.
- Taste for seasoning, add salt and more pepper if necessary; the slaw can be made up to 1 day ahead.
- Make the pork: generously season the pork all over with salt and pepper.
- Set up grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (to be strictly authentic, you’d use charcoal; but can be made on a gas grill; if using charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center).
- When ready to cook, place the pork skin side up, if there is one, in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat; cover the grill.
- Cook the pork until very tender, 4-5 hours; to test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer; internal temperature should be about 195° (the cooking time will depend on the size of the Boston Butt and the heat of the grill).
- If the pork starts to brown too much, cover it loosely with foil; if using a charcoal grill, every hour you will need to add 12 fresh coals to each side.
- Transfer the cooked pork to a cutting board, cover it loosely with foil; let rest for 10 minutes.
- Pull off the brown skin and finely chop it with a cleaver (these crispy bits are called brownies and they’re indispensable for a proper Memphis pork sandwich).
- Pull the pork into large pieces, discarding any bones or lumps of fat (wear gloves when doing this).
- Using your fingertips or a fork, pull each piece of pork into thin shreds; or use a cleaver to finely chop it.
- To serve: pile the pulled pork and brownies on the hamburger buns; top each with a mound of mustard slaw and, if desired, a dollop of barbecue sauce; serve.