Tasting Table: Honey Pulled Pork
2½ pounds pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch ground allspice
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons honey, plus more to serve
1½ cups water
4 brioche buns, split
2 nectarines, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350° and move the rack to the lowest rung. Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pork and cook, turning, until the pieces are browned all over, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer the pork to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside. Add the sugar, cayenne pepper, allspice and 2 tablespoons of water into the Dutch oven and whisk to combine. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute, then whisk in the vinegar, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the tomato paste, 3 tablespoons of honey and water. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, add the reserved pork to the pot, then cover and place the Dutch oven in the oven. Cook until the pork is very tender, about 2½ hours.
3. Remove the dish from the oven and transfer the pork to a large bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes; using two forks, shred the meat. Skim the fat off the remaining sauce and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, then stir in the shredded pork and toss to coat. To serve, pile one half of the buns with pulled pork, top with the nectarine slices and drizzle with honey. Cover with the top buns and serve warm.