BBQ Pulled Pork & Emmentaler Panini

If Johnny Cash were a panini, he’d be this panini. Rustic, rough around the edges with a melty inside, twangy and a bit of a mess. Simple but rich; Easy yet cultured. Johnny Cash would throw a few back with this panini then kick his chair out from underneath him, hike up his britches, wipe his mouth on his sleeve and fill the streets with huge metallic acoustics while making no excuses.

When your food inspires you, it’s okay to anthropomorphize and compare it to a behemoth of a man you’ve never met.  When crispy, salty, sweet, tangy, creamy warm your hands and belly, you are allowed to dedicate your panini to a country legend. It’s alright; this is acceptable. It is encouraged to listen to Johnny Cash while enjoying this panini and no one will judge if you tell ol’ Johnny you shot a man in Reno even if both you and Johnny know that underneath your momentary panini-induced rough around the edges persona, you’re just melty on the inside. And that’s why you and Johnny get along so well.

The barbecue sauce I used for the pulled pork was not homemade; nay, it was given to me. The folks at Outta the Park were kind enough to send me bottles of their Original and Hot & Spicy barbecue sauces and now I’m hooked. I love that they use all natural ingredients without artificial flavors, colors, MSG or high fructose corn syrup. When barbecue sauce shows up at my doorstep, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is or how clean my teeth are, I’m opening it and trying it. Johnny Cash would do the same, and so would you.

Outta the Park sauces have a perfect balance of smokey, salty, sweet and make a mean crock pot pulled pork as it turns out. Barbecue sauce is a thing in my house, and Outta the Park is now a member of my barbecue happy home. Pork shoulder roast + 1 bottle of barbecue sauce + 1 crock pot = fed and satisfied for days.  The only thing that required any time in this recipe was browning up the onion, which can certainly be achieved between episodes of Modern Family.  I used Emmentaler swiss cheese and thick slices of gluten-free bread which I baked using a gluten-free bread mix. And that’s how the boys get fed, folks.

BBQ Pulled Pork & Emmentaler Paninis

Author: Julia


  • 1-5 lb pork shoulder roast bone-in if possible
  • 1 ounces bottle barbecue sauce + more for drizzling inside the Panini 15, such as Outta the Park
  • 8- ounces Emmentaler cheese sliced, Swiss
  • 2 large yellow onions sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 in large loaf rustic bread (ciabatta focaccia or bread that will hold up a Panini maker)
  • Butter for buttering the bread


  1. Place the pork shoulder roast in your crock pot and add the barbecue sauce. Leave the crock pot on the low setting and check the meat after 6 hours. Depending on the size of your roast, it should take between 6 and 8 hours for the meat to fall easily off the bone.
  2. About 40 minutes before you’re ready to eat, slice up two onions and sauté them in the oil and butter over medium heat.
  3. Once the onions begin to soften and become transluscent (about 5 minutes), begin adding the red wine, a couple of tablespoons at a time.
  4. Continue adding wine and stirring periodically until the wine is gone and onions are browned and soft, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the roast from the crock pot and place it on a cutting board. Allow it to cool enough to handle.
  6. Using a fork, pull (shred) your pork!
  7. Put pulled pork back into the crock pot with the juices and sauce so that it can soak up more flavor.
  8. Heat your Panini maker
  9. Butter two thick slices of bread and make a sandwich with desired amount of cheese, pulled pork, barbecue sauce (oh yeah, load it on!) and sautéed onions.
  10. Place the sandwich on your Panini maker butter-side down, lower the lid and let the magic happen!
  11. In about 2 to 3 minutes, you’ll have a delicious Panini!


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    1. Julia Post author

      You and me both! I need to make up another batch of it…even though I used a huge hunk of pork meat, the whole crock pot was devoured in two days flat. Time for another go-round 😉 Have a great weekend!

  1. Beth

    Wow! The paninis look amazing, Julia! Thanks so much for trying out our sauces and sharing this awesome recipe! We can’t wait to try it out. The Emmentaler is a nice touch as is the gluten free bread!

    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks, Beth! Everyone in my house loves the sauce so we’ll definitely be ordering some through your website! 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      You and me both, sister! Johnny Cash and pulled pork is pretty much all your need 😉 Maybe a green salad from time to time… 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    1. Julia Post author

      Gruyere would be fantastic! Or smoked gouda! ohhhh the possibilities. I do love a good melty cheese panini 🙂

  2. Vicky

    This sounds seriously amazing, and I love your description of it! I have been traveling through Asia (Japan, South Korea, China) for the last 2.5 months and am seriously craving a good sandwich so bad! Currently staying at hostel so without kitchen access I can only dream about the delicious of the pulled pork with delicious cheese (which I also haven’t had in months!)

    1. Julia Post author

      Your travels sound incredible! What a wonderful experience! And I’m surprised you’re able to still prepare recipes and post them on your blog – that’s dedication! Be safe and looking forward to hearing all about your experiences! 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      Let me know if you try it! They’re incredibly simple to make. Pork roast + bbq sauce + crockpot = endless deliciousness. 🙂


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