Award-winning chef Thomas Boemer knows pork, and he knows barbecue (check out our interview, with great BBQ tips from the chef). His recipe for BBQ Pork Shoulder with Mustard Slaw is a perfect marriage of smoky, flavorful, unctuous pork and tangy, crunchy slaw that both complements and cuts through the rich savor of the meat. The pork shoulder is rubbed with a mixture of sugar and spices (like cayenne, paprika, and celery seed) before it spends a good long time on the grill over indirect heat. Once it’s rested, it’s chopped and mixed with a mustard-based BBQ sauce that has a hefty dose of cider vinegar too, and deftly balances tangy, spicy, and sweet. Finally, the marvelous meat is piled up on potato rolls with the creamy, crunchy mustard slaw (and maybe some pickles on the side), for the perfect backyard barbecue dish to serve a hungry crowd.
- 1 10-pound pork shoulder, boneless
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 cups yellow ballpark mustard
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 head white or green cabbage, halved, cored, and shredded
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 12 potato rolls
Make the rub:
- Mix together the salt, brown sugar, cayenne, black pepper, and paprika.
- Use half of the rub to cover the entire pork shoulder, making sure to work the seasoning into the surface of the meat with your hands. Reserve remaining half of rub for sauce.
Cook the pork shoulder:
- Set up your charcoal grill with an indirect heat area and place the pork shoulder on the indirect side of the grill. Cover and maintain a consistent temperature between 275 and 325 degrees. Cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until the meat jiggles and pulls apart easily. Remove from the heat, tent the pork shoulder with aluminum foil, and let rest for a minimum of 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the mustard BBQ sauce:
- In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the yellow mustard, granulated sugar, reserved half of the rub, onion powder, and celery seed, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the cider vinegar and allow to cool somewhat.
Make the slaw:
- Combine the mayonnaise with 1/2 cup of the mustard BBQ sauce and mix with the shredded cabbage.
Assemble the sandwiches:
- Once the pork has rested, chop the meat (you can do this with two metal spatulas), seasoning with salt, pepper, and some of the mustard BBQ sauce while chopping, making sure everything is well mixed.
- Serve the meat on potato rolls, topped with slaw and more of the mustard BBQ sauce.