Pomegranate Molasses & Sambal Pulled Pork


I’m pleased as punch to be writing a blog post featuring someone else’s recipe! Read that title again – I could never come up with something SO brilliant!

Back in May, when I first started making large batches of sambal at home and selling jars of it to my friends and family, a friend of mine from Baltimore bought two jars of it. I’ve known Aaron Smith since about 1998 when we both worked in advertising. He still works in the same ad agency that he worked at when we first met, but I had no idea that in recent years he’s developed this whole other life as a super splendid BBQ chef/competitor!

One of the first things he made using the sambal was this recipe and when I mentioned it on my FB page, I immediately began getting messages from folks asking for the recipe. I finally got around to asking Aaron for his recipe a couple of weeks ago – yes, I know, there’s a lot of time between May and a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been just ever so slightly busy getting a product to market.

I was going to wait until BBQ season to post this, but then I decided it’s always BBQ season SOMEWHERE, right? And for some guys up here in the NE, nothing short of a blizzard with hail the size of goose eggs can stop them from BBQing. Also, the folks who have asked for this recipe since sometime in May might actually appreciate getting the recipe this year. Furthermore, I realize it’s Chanukkah tonight and Thanksgiving tomorrow, which means I should be posting something turkey-related or telling a story about how I eat my latkes with sambal. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I’m neither organized nor calculating enough to write appropriately-themed blog posts according to the calendar. Therefore, I give you….

Aaron Smith’s Pomegranate Molasses & Sambal Pulled Pork


5 pound Pork Butt

1/3 cup of dry rub – (use a store-bought rib rub or combine the following spices to get Aaron’s homemade version)

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup paprika
3 tbs black pepper
2 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne

1. Rub the pork generously with the spice mixture. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 8hrs.

2. Roast uncovered, fat side up in a pan for about 6 hours at 300 degrees. The pork is done when an internal read thermometer reaches 170 degrees and the meat falls apart with ease.






2 tablespoons Hot Chilli Sambal

3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (substitute with tamari if you don’t have pomegranate molasses)

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 cup Dijon

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

6 garlic cloves mashed

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water as necessary, to maintain a smooth consistency.


1 bunch scallions – sliced diagonally in 3” pieces

1 tablespoon dry rub

1/2 of the prepared sauce (or more)

1. Pull/shred the pork.

2. Put any left over fat or connective tissue back in the roasting pan on medium high heat and render out the fat.

3. Add the shredded pork back into the pan with one tablespoon of the dry rub. Sauté until all the meat is caramelized then add ½ of the prepared sauce. Mix through to coat. Add more Sambal or pomegranate molasses/tamari to taste. Should be somewhat wet, but not soupy. Mix in scallions and wilt.

Serve on a potato roll with a teaspoon of sauce along with more sambal, cheddar cheese, a bread and butter pickle or pickled red onions.

Pom-Sambal Pork Small

Watch as your guests inhale these in a matter of minutes. Oh, and Happy Thanksgivukkah!


The chef at work! Just look at those happy faces around him.



I’m guessing Aaron’s just SLIGHTLY obsessed with fire.

Comments Off on Pomegranate Molasses & Sambal Pulled Pork