If you're looking for a new and exciting way to serve pork, look no further than this Carolina BBQ roasted pork recipe. The perfect combination of sweet and tangy, this dish is sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more. And the best part? It's surprisingly easy to make.
Carolina BBQ Roasted Pork
Carolina bbq sauce
- 1 ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 ½ - 3 lb pork loin
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- ¼ cup crushed peanuts
- Make Carolina bbq sauce. Combine all of the ingredients including apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, dijon mustard, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a medium saucepot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 15-18 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Set aside half of the bbq sauce and reserve. Place pork loin in a Ziploc bag and pour the remaining bbq sauce over the pork, turning to coat. Let sit for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Remove pork from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine sugar, Aleppo pepper, paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder until well combined.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top.
- Remove pork from marinade and sprinkle a generous amount of the spice mixture over pork, making sure to cover all of the sides. Place on prepared baking sheet and roast pork in the oven for 1 hour 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 150 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Top pork with crushed peanuts and chopped chives. Slice and serve with reserved bbq sauce on the side.
Watch how to make this:
I've come to realize that pork is a complicated subject. There's the group of people that absolutely love it, braised pork belly, carnitas, roasted pork tenderloin, bring it on. Then you have the other side where people have a strong distaste for it and refuse to touch it. And then, of course, there's the group of people who don't eat pork but loves bacon. I fall somewhere in the middle. I like it just enough and can probably live without it. That is until you hand me a plate of tender, juicy, beautifully roasted pork. That I can't resist.
So this recipe is for those pork lovers and maybe even those "just bacon eaters". What makes this Carolina BBQ roasted pork so unique? It's all about the seasonings. Marinate pork loin with a tangy Carolina bbq sauce, season it with bbq spices, and roast until perfectly cooked. Top the succulent pork with crushed peanuts and chopped chives and serve with extra bbq sauce on the side. Heck, even if you don't like pork, you can swap it for brisket or even chicken and the seasonings will do them justice.
- Pork loin: A lean tender cut of pork that is great for roasting. You can also prepare this recipe with pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, or thick-cut pork chops. Alternatively, swap our the pork for brisket, chuck roast, or even chicken, adjusting cooking times accordingly.
- Apple cider vinegar: The base of the bbq sauce that adds the tangy element. I highly recommend using apple cider vinegar instead of another type because it is less harsh with a slightly sweet and fruity flavor that pairs wonderfully with the pork.
- Dijon mustard: I went back and forth on whether I should use Dijon mustard or yellow mustard but landed on Dijon because of its more complex, intense flavor.
- Red chili flakes: The chili flakes add just a little spice to the bbq sauce but can be omitted if desired.
- Worcestershire: The fermented sauce contributes a savory, umami flavor.
- Aleppo pepper flakes: A type of chili flake with a fruity, slightly salty flavor with a moderate level of heat. If you can't find Aleppo pepper, substitute it with 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sweet paprika and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
How to Make Carolina BBQ Roasted Pork
Step 1: Marinade the Pork
First things first, you'll want to marinate the pork loin in a flavorful BBQ sauce. To make the sauce, you'll need apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Let the sauce cool completely before using. Feel free to make the sauce several days in advance.
Next, place the pork loin in a Ziploc bag and pour half of the BBQ sauce over the pork, turning to coat. Reserve the other half of the sauce for later use. Let the pork sit in the marinade for at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, making it extra juicy and tender.
Step 2: Season
Once the pork has marinated, it's time to season it with a blend of spices that complements the tangy flavor of the BBQ sauce. For this recipe, you'll need sugar, Aleppo pepper, paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Combine all the spices in a small bowl and mix well. Remove the pork from the marinade and sprinkle the spice mixture generously over the pork, making sure to cover all sides. You will probably have some extra seasoning mixture left.
Step 3: Roast
When you're ready to roast, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Place the pork on the wire rack and roast for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150°F. If you like your pork medium-rare or well done, adjust the cooking times accordingly.
Once the pork is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. Then, top the pork with chopped chives and crushed peanuts for some added texture and flavor. Slice and serve with the reserved BBQ sauce on the side.
One bite into this beautifully roasted pork and I was sold. The flavors are wonderfully complimentary to one another with the tangy bbq sauce and the sweet spice mixture with mild heat. The pork itself was juicy despite being a leaner cut and the garnishes add another layer of texture and flavor. Hopefully, it'll impress you as much as it did me!
Can I use a different cut of pork instead of pork loin?
Pork loin is a lean cut of meat that works well for roasting, but you can use other cuts such as pork shoulder or pork tenderloin. Keep in mind that the cooking time and temperature may need to be adjusted.
Can I skip the marinating step or reduce the marinating time?
The marinating step helps to infuse the pork with flavor and tenderize the meat. While you can skip the marinating step, the pork may not be as flavorful or tender. If you're short on time, try marinating for at least 4 hours instead of overnight.
How can I store leftovers?
To store roasted pork, let it cool down to room temperature and place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
To reheat roasted pork, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pork in an oven-safe dish, add a small amount of liquid such as broth or water to prevent it from drying out, and cover the dish with foil. Heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
For more roasted pork inspiration check out this herb roasted pork belly with shallot mustard sauce!