Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on May 27, 2012

BBQ Porter-Bella

How’s your long weekend treating you so far?

Over here, we’re enjoying a lovely Memorial Day/birthday weekend, full of gardening, running in early morning mist, farmers-marketing, smoothie-drinking, dog-spoiling, and oh-so-exciting gutter repair.

That last one doesn’t really fit in, does it?

I could pretend that I actually have contributed to helping with the gutters but in all honesty, my involvement consists of holding the ladder. After Andrew informed me that during the course of debris-removal, he noticed a line of spiders crawling on his arm, I decided this is not the task for me.

Spiders and I have a long history of mutual hatred for each other. Well, actually, I hate them and they cruelly toy with me, ambushing me in random places and ensuring that I shake out any shoe in the back of the closet because they might be lurking inside. Paranoid, I know, but this post pretty much captures my exact feelings about spiders.

So, instead, I thought I’d return to the safe confines of the kitchen and share a new recipe, just in time for Memorial Day. As I’m happily cooking away, the spider’s disturbing friend Daddy-Long-Legs decides to violate the terms of our treaty and journey over the kitchen floor. I yelp and make a hasty retreat into the living room, contemplating calling Andrew down from the roof to escort Mr. Long-Legs out. I grow up and decide to deal with it myself; I enter the kitchen.

Daddy-Long-Legs is gone. This is clearly worse than having him in plain sight.

Thus far he has remained in hiding, no doubt waiting to scurry out at just the right moment to make my heart stop.

Despite all this, I do indeed have a recipe for you – a pretty darn good one, in fact: a vegan version of a shredded barbecue pork sandwich.

Growing up in the South, I learned long ago that barbecue is sacred. Developing the perfect barbecue sauce is a celebrated artform. I am an admitted novice in the world of barbecue sauce innovation. This sauce is a starting point- its a base for you to let your tastebuds run wild – don’t be afraid to add in other spices and make your own ‘secret sauce.’ Or, if you have your preferred brand of barbecue sauce, by all means use it. Regardless of the sauce you use, this recipe is a winner. Slicing the portabellas into fine strips generates ‘shreds’ just begging to be slathered in sauce and placed on a sesame seed bun – all the better if that bun is homemade.

(I used this recipe)

I’ve also included a simple Maple-Ginger slaw recipe, so you can serve up your sandwich Carolina-style. If you’re not a fan of raw cabbage, you can always throw this concoction into the oven and roast for 10-20 minutes – it’s just as yummy :).

So, without further ado, a recipe for all the BBQ-lovers out there:

BBQ Porter-Bella Sandwiches


BBQ Sauce

*I didn’t really measure but this makes somewhere around 4-5 cups

  • 3/4 cup beer (porter of your choice, bonus points for homebrew)
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped (~1 cup chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke*

*For those of you wondering, here’s some useful info about liquid smoke

Shredded Portabella

  • 4 portabella caps (de-stemmed)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup BBQ sauce

* plan on 1-1.5 caps per person, especially if they’re on the small side

Maple-Ginger Slaw

  • 1 small head purple cabbage, chopped
  • 1 apple (I used Pink Lady), julienned
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard


BBQ Sauce

1. Saute onion for ~5-7 minutes.

Add garlic & cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.

2. Remove from heat and puree in blender.

3. Mix in beer, molasses, sugar, vinegar, and chili powder. Return to stovetop and cook at a slight bubble for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in mustard and liquid smoke. Taste test and adjust seasoning as needed (aka toss in more chili powder to kick up the heat, add a bit more sugar to sweeten the pot, or stir in some strong vinegar to bring out the tang.) Cook for a few more minutes then remove from heat.


1. Slice caps into very thin strips – the thinner the better here.

2. Add to slightly oiled pan with just a few drops of water.

3. Partially cover and cook over medium heat for several minutes, stirring every so often. The mushrooms will have reduced in size and secreted liquid. Remove cover and continue cooking until mushrooms are limp (~7-15 minutes, depending on thickness of pieces).

4. Stir in liquid smoke, followed by barbecue sauce. Cook for several minutes then remove from heat.

Maple-Ginger Slaw

1. Slice cabbage into ribbons

2. Chop apple into matchsticks.

3. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and refrigerate until ready (flavors really come out after ‘marinating’ for awhile – so this is an excellent candidate for mixing up in the morning to have at lunch or dinner.)

Plate Up: Scoop barbecue portabella onto bun and top with slaw. Enjoy!

Results & Conclusions

These babies are just begging to go to a backyard get-together.

Juicy. Messy. Awesome.

What are you waiting for? Whip these up and share with your friends in the fresh air of your backyard.

Just be sure to watch out for spiders.

Happy Memorial Day!


  1. Looks delicious! It’s on my list to make this week. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These look amazing. Definitely pinning. 🙂

  3. Spiders are too darn quiet and sneaky! Much like snakes, the bane of all existence!
    Loved your recipe and the colorful red, white and blue shot of the finished product on this special day. Thanks for sharing!

  4. We made these sandwiches the other night and I have to tell you that you are spot-on with this recipe. They were absolutely delicious. The BBQ sauce is now our favorite. It gets even better after a day or two in the fridge.
    Also, we love your website. You are obviously very talented.


  1. BBQ Porter-Bella Sandwiches - The Practically Green Mom - [...] via Allie on [...]

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *