Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches

This is the second installment of the "Menus for When People Come To Visit" series. 
Serves 10-12

For the Pork:
6 Tbsp. paprika
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 10- to 12-lb boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt, rinsed and dried
8 to 12 soft hamburger buns

Mix the paprika, sugar, and onion powder in a bowl.  Transfer 3 tablespoons seasoning to another bowl, add 2 tablespoons salt and 3 tablespoons pepper, and sprinkle onto the pork.  Place the pork in the crock pot and cook on high for 8 hours.  When pork is ready it should pull apart easily.  Shred and then cover with remaining dry rub.

For the Barbecue Sauce:
2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

Combine sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

To serve, pour sauce over shredded pork and stir to coat.  Serve pork on hamburger buns with cole slaw if desired.

I'm pretty sure I've shared this recipe before, but since it's another go-to for company I am posting it again.  Barbecue is one of those things that is so intensely delicious, that I wonder why I don't eat it every day.

I somewhat stated my criteria for great company food in my last post, but let me re-hash it here ... this recipe makes the cut for three reasons:

(1) It's easy.  Rub stuff on pork, put in crock pot, make sauce (or buy bbq sauce), and serve on buns.  Done.  Make slaw if you're feeling fancy; serve chips if you're not.
(2) It's do-ahead.  Literally ... everything can be done before anyone walks through your door.
and (3) it makes a ton.  You might be thinking, "We don't need 12 pounds of barbecue sitting around our house.  I'll get an 8-pound shoulder."  STOP.  DO NOT THINK THAT.  Get the biggest piece of meat you can find, and cook all of it.  You can eat leftovers on sandwiches (if there are buns), in tortillas as barbecue tacos, or on pizza (it pairs nicely with carmelized onions and bleu cheese).  Or, fry it up with eggs and hash browns for breakfast.  Your guests will appreciate it.

If you haven't had the chance yet, check out the first set of recipes in the "Menus for When People Come To Visit" series: Pollo con Chile RojoPoblano Pinto Beans, and Mexican Red Rice.

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