When fresh cherries are plentiful

When fresh cherries are all around, so are ideas by what related to them. It’s more than pie. Think barbecue sauce.

Fresh cherries create a flavorful base for homemade barbecue sauce, especially when you combine tart fruit with hot chiles for any balance of rich, spicy, and tangy all at one time.

There’s hardly a more succulent meat than slow-cooked pork shoulder—whether it’s braised in the oven or smoked off-heat on the grill. This recipe requires braising, but nevertheless, you cook your pork to really make it fork-tender and able to shred, stir within the spicy cherry barbecue sauce and also you won’t be disappointed.

Makes 6 sandwiches

Ingredients

For the Pulled-Pork Sandwiches

1 tsp chile powder1 tsp cayenne powder1 tsp garlic powder1 tsp ground cuminsmoked sea salt (or regular sea salt)2-1/4-lb pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed of excess fat2 tbsp olive oil1 14-1/2-oz can of vegetable broth6 wheat sandwich rolls, slightly toastedpickle slices, onion slices, or vinegary coleslaw (optional)

For the Cherry Barbecue Sauce

2 cups fresh, tart, pitted cherries1 habanero chile, stemmed and chopped2-3 red serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped1 small onion, chopped1/4 cup cider vinegar1 tbsp unsalted butter2 garlic cloves, finely chopped3/4 cup ketchup1/3 cup brown sugar2 tbsp Worcestershire saucesea saltfreshly ground black pepper

Preparation

For the Pork Sandwiches

    Combine the very first 5 ingredients (through salt) in a tiny bowl. Rub the spice mixture all around the pork. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.Preheat the oven to 275° F.Heat a Saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the pork and sear 2-3 minutes on both sides, until starting to brown.Pour the broth around the pork, cover tightly with a lid, and braise in the oven Three hours, turning 2-3 times throughout, until the meat is fork tender and can be easily shredded.Take away the pork to some work surface and let rest until cool enough to deal with. Pull the pork into shreds, discarding any fatty parts, and place inside a medium pot or skillet.Pour 2 cups cherry barbecue sauce (preparation below) within the pork and stir well to incorporate. (Use any leftover sauce to glaze grilled chicken breasts or pork chops.) Bring to a slight simmer over medium-low heat and cook Ten minutes.For everyone, place a generous stack of pulled pork on the bottom of every roll. Place the tops on the sandwiches and revel in plain, or garnish with pickles, onion, or slaw before topping.

For the Cherry Barbecue Sauce

    Place the first 5 ingredients (through vinegar) in a food processor and process until emulsified.Heat a medium pot over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and simmer 2 minutes.Add the cherry mixture, ketchup, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer slowly 20-25 minutes, until slightly thickened.
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