Ripped Pork with Pickled Cabbage

YIELD Serves 8-10




"I created this meltingly tender slow-cooked pork for Red Rooster, where we do what I call 'elevated American comfort food' with international flavors. Serve it alongside the Pickled Cabbage with some good soft rolls for sandwich making."



  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup tamarind paste
  • 10 prunes, pitted
  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 3 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
  • 8 pounds boneless Boston buttPreheat the oven to 250°F.


Pickled Cabbage

  • 2 grapefruits
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons harissa (North African hot sauce)
  • 1 head napa cabbage, cored and shredded (about 16 cups)
  • Leaves from 4 fresh basil sprigs, chopped
  • 4 fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped
  • 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated



In a spice grinder, combine the cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds and grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the chili powder, paprika, tomato paste, tamarind paste, prunes, bourbon, and broth to make a braising liquid.

Put the pork in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan and pour the braising liquid over the top. Place in the oven, uncovered, and cook, basting every 30 minutes with the braising liquid and adding additional broth if needed to keep the pork about three fourths submerged, until fork-tender, about 8 hours.

Remove from the oven, transfer the pork to a cutting board, and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully ladle off the fat from the top of the braising liquid and discard. Taste the braising liquid and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.

Using 2 forks, pull the pork into coarse shreds and place in a bowl. Gradually add the braising liquid to the pork until the pork is very moist but still holds together. You may not need all of the braising liquid. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Reheat, if necessary, and serve warm.

"With the buttery richness of slow-cooked pork, I want something cool, spicy, tangy, and crunchy. This North African-inspired slaw is just the ticket."

Serves 8 to 10

Pickled Cabbage

Cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of each grapefruit to reveal the flesh. Stand 1 grapefruit upright on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife and following the contour of the fruit, cut downward to remove the peel and pith. Holding the peeled grapefruit over a bowl, cut along both sides of each segment to free it from the membrane, catching the segments and any juice in the bowl. Repeat with the remaining grapefruit. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, water, and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl and let cool.

Add the onion, garlic, peanuts, peanut oil, and harissa to the cooled vinegar mixture and mix well. Put the cabbage in a deep baking dish or a large bowl and pour the cooled peanut-onion mixture over the top. Toss to combine. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Drain the cabbage mixture in a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Add the grapefruit segments and juice, basil, cilantro, and ginger and toss gently to mix well. Serve immediately.



Marcus Samuelsson