Pulled Pork & Tangy Homemade BBQ Sauce

Nutzie’s Pulled Pork with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

So who is Nutzie? He is a grandpa in Worcester, Massachusetts who owns a mom-and-pop restaurant.

How did I find his recipe? Why, in the Wall Street Journal, of all places!

The Wall Street Journal has recipes? Yep. Hey, I didn’t know either.

I thought it was strictly a business newspaper. Nope. It’s chock full of a myriad of articles.

However, the recipes show up in the weekend edition only, which my dear hubby pointed out to me when he recently began subscribing to the newspaper. So I now abscond it every Saturday morning and peruse it for recipes.

Recently, the pulled pork recipe, along with a homemade barbecue sauce, piqued my interest. I love pulled pork sandwiches, especially from The Beach Pit BBQ in Costa Mesa, California. I loved the idea of making my own, and this recipe sounded easy enough. No dealing with the outdoor barbecue or smoking it or special wood chips. Just cook it in the oven with salt, pepper, broth and liquid smoke. Slather it in barbecue sauce, slap it between some buns, and you are good to go!

By the way, ever heard of liquid smoke? It’s some seriously amazing stuff. How in the world do they get that hickory-smoked flavor in a bottle?!

The barbecue sauce was super easy to make, and I adore the idea of no preservatives…except the recipe calls for store-bought ketchup, so it does have some preservatives. I do have a recipe in my files for homemade ketchup but haven’t tried it yet. Soon.

Tasting the sauce as it simmered, it imparted too much of a tangy taste, I decided. Hubby agreed. So I added 6 tbsp. more of brown sugar, and the tang was still strong. However, the tang was less dominant, so I let it be. I wanted to add liquid smoke so it would taste more like the  store-bought barbecue sauce we are used to, but since the pulled pork recipe uses liquid smoke, I refrained. I figured I could add it later if needed. If I were using this for something else, I would seriously consider adding a few drops of the liquid smoke. And next time I’ll reduce the amount of vinegar.

The recipe also calls for vinegar added to the pork after it’s shredded, but I barely sprinkled any on because the barbecue sauce was already heavy on the vinegar.

This makes a HUGE batch. As a matter of fact, the article reads “MEGA MEAL” above the title. I might reduce it next time. Or maybe I can freeze it? I’ll try that and see how it works out. It should be fine since I often freeze leftover chicken and beef and make tacos with it. So far, we’ve had about 3 meals each out of this and still have tons left. Definite party food–great for a summer gathering.

This was one of a dozen or so goodies I cooked up this Memorial Day weekend. Hubby and I chilled out at home, but I made us all kinds of holiday fare to usher in summer. Woo hoo…only two more weeks of teaching and grading essays, then I’m done for some summer fun. Countin’ down…

In the days to come, I’ll be sharing all of the goodies I cooked up to go a long with the pulled pork extravaganza.

By the way, if you would rather use a crock pot to make pulled pork in the sultry days of summer, here’s a link to a recipe I have saved but haven’t tried yet: pulled pork.

Nutzie’s Pulled Pork

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  • 1 (5-6 pound) bone-in pork butt (that means the upper shoulder cut…by the way, I used pork without bone)
  • 1 – 1 1/ 2 tsp. kosher or coarse salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. liquid smoke (you can find this at a grocery store)
  • 4 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar, or more to taste (I actually used a lot less–just a sprinkling)
  • sliced soft rolls, soft or toasted, for serving
  • coleslaw and pickles, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place pork butt in a large pot with a lid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Pour broth around pork until it covers about one quarter of the meat.
  4. Add liquid smoke. Cover pot and put in oven. Bake until internal temperature registers 190-200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and meat is falling apart, 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours. Use a fork to pull at pork and make sure it comes apart easily.
  5. Remove pork butt from oven and let it sit in pot 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove from pot; discard bone and cooking liquid. Cut fatty parts off meat, then use two forks or your fingers to shred meat into small pieces. Place shredded pork in a large bowl.
  7. Warm barbecue sauce in a small pot over medium heat. Mix shredded meat with barbecue sauce and vinegar until evenly coated. Taste. If pork could use a bit more zing, add more vinegar. Season with additional salt and pepper.
  8. Pile pulled pork onto rolls or serve it plain with coleslaw and pickles.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, May 12-13, 2012

Tangy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

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  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 4 cups ketchup, preferably Heinz (use 1 cup of Heinz chili sauce if you want a zestier sauce)
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar (use less if you don’t want the flavor to dominate)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar (I used an additional 6 tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • Kosher salt or coarse salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper, stir well, and let simmer over medium-low heat until flavors meld, about 15 minutes.
  3. Sauce is ready if you prefer it a bit chunky from the chopped onions. If you prefer it smoother, allow it to cool, then puree it in a food processor.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, May 12-13, 2012