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Pulled Pork

Barbecue Sauce:
1 can plum tomatoes (28 oz) -- chopped, save juice
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups water
1 1/3 cups cider vinegar
salt -- to taste
1 4 lb pork butt -- at room temperature
soft rolls
bread-and-butter pickles

Prepare the barbecue sauce at least a day before you plan to cook the meat. Place the tomatoes, molasses, honey, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, cumin, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large heavy pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally.

Add the water and vinegar, then return the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce gently, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours more. Remove and discard the bay leaf, season with salt, and set the sauce aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before adding to the slow cooker.

Place the pork in the slow cooker. Pour 2 cups of the sauce over the pork, and turn the meat to coat all over with the sauce. Cover the pot and cook on high heat for 5 1/2 hours.

Remove the meat from the sauce and set aside to cool. When the meat is cool enough to handle, trim off and discard the fat. Chop the meat coarsely with two knives, or pull it with 2 forks. Place the shredded meat in a large bowl. pour the sauce through a gravy separator, discarding the fat. Warm the defatted sauce and toss with the shredded meat. Serve on rolls with coleslaw on top and pickles alongside.

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