It’s Tailgate Time! Habanero BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with King’s Hawaiian Bread

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YAY! Football season is finally here! Hey, I know what you’re thinking…Really, Stephen ? Football? Yes! Believe it or not, I love football. It’s the one sport out of the year I can root whole-heartedly for my teams (Rams and UCLA Bruins). Art, on the other hand, is not the biggest fan of the sport. Art sits in a sports bar reading a book. While the game is in full throttle with fans yelling their heads-off at a great play, I’ll turn to look if Art caught it and instead catch him buried in his book and sipping on a cold IPA. Gotta love him! So this year I am trying to get Art excited about football through food. I keep telling him how he can create hearty tailgate menus to share with our friends on game days. After tasting these pulled pork sandwiches, I think I got Art hooked on the idea. We’ll be sharing some tailgate menus throughout the season.  

“Tailgating” is one of America’s favorite sports pastimes. Recently, KING’S HAWAIIAN invited LatinoFoodie and other bloggers for an inside look at their bakery in Torrance, Ca. After the  impressive tour, the company treated us to a special lunch where local food trucks created delicious bites using KING’S HAWAIAAN sweet buns. I immediately thought these buns would be great additions to our tailgate menu. Whether it is the new Original Hawaiian Sweet Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns, fan favorite Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, Original Hawaiian Sweet Sandwich Buns or Mini-Sub Rolls— KING’S HAWAIIAN products will definitely make every tailgater’s slider, sandwich, grilled sausage, hot dog and hamburger a winner.

The oven roasted pulled pork recipe shown here was adapted from Tyler Florence at the Food Network. Art created the fiery bbq sauce. It’s the habanero chile in the bbq sauce that gives it heat.

Dry Rub Ingredients for the Roast:
3 tablespoon paprika
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. onion powder
3 tbsp. coarse salt
1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder

Directions for cooking the roast can be found below after the Habanero BBQ Sauce.

Habanero BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of Ketchup
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
5 tbsp. apple cider
3 tbsp. worcestershire
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2 tsp. paprika
2 habanero chiles, minced
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/2 cups of water

Directions for the Sauce:
Mix the paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, onion powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Add the ketchup, apple cider, worcestershire, habanero, and Tabasco sauce to a small sauce pan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Slowly add in water to bring the sauce to the consistency you like and taste.


Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours, covered, in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 5 to six hours. You want to roast the pork until it is falling apart.

Shred the pork using two forks.  Slowly pour in the Habanero BBQ sauce to coat the pork.  Place back in the oven just long enough to heat through.


Go Rams!! Fell in love with this team as a kid when they were in Los Angeles. Yes, LA not Anaheim.

My dad started taking me to UCLA football games with season tickets when I was nine-years-old. Thank you pops for a great childhood! GO BRUINS!





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1 Comment

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