DON'T REMEMBER WHAT THE EXACT inspiration was, but it was recent, and sudden. Immediately—and out of nowhere—stuck in my head was the idea of braising pork in Coca-Cola® and sriracha sauce. Sweet, savory, spicy, simple. But would have to be cooked slow as well.
So I decided to use a 3-lb. bone-in pork butt, which I last night moistened with soy sauce then dry-rubbed with salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder, cumin, nutmeg, and hot Hungarian paprika, then wrapped in plastic and kept in the refrigerator overnight.
This morning, I removed from the fridge, let rest an hour to get back to room temp, then seared off on all sides in a deep pot with hot rendered bacon fat. I deglazed the "burnt bits" and charred seasonings with a quick drizzle of cider vinegar, then filled the top nearly to the top with a full 2-liter bottle of Coke and a full 13-oz. bottle of sriracha, about 20 stalks of scallions, chopped, turned up the heat to boil, then simmered covered for almost 4 hours.
Once the pork was separating from the center bone from its own wight, I removed it from the pot, leaving the liquid in the pot, adding some yellow mustard and cider vinegar to the liquid, turned the heat up to medium, and reduced the liquid for about a half hour while easily pulling the tender, juicy, lean and fatty pieces of pork apart.
Once the pot liquid was reduced to more of a thicker sauce, I pour a couple spoonfuls over the pulled pork and tossed it to coat. Then, on simple white toast with a slice of red onion, some sliced pickle slices, and one last drizzle of the reduction.
Bite after delicious bite, meltingly delicious strands of pork boasted a host of tastes, initially perfectly balanced between sweet and salty, then boasting notes of smokey caramel, then rich garlic, then palate-teasing vanilla, then palate-brightening vinegar, then woodsy and floral scallion, and finally rewarding my patience with a soothing bear hug of heat, that slowly rippled from the tongue, down the throat and up through the nose and head, and throughout the shoulder, back, and upper body.
I post this some 21 hours after I first bought the pork butt, which cost only $8 bucks and I have at least six sandwiches of pulled pork leftover. I just worry that—even with six sandwiches of pulled pork leftover—I will quickly slowly devour the rest of it within the next 21 hours!
Bun Apple Tea!
COLA & SRIRACHA PULLED PORK SANDWICH | Red Onions, Scallions, Pickles