For the patty mixture
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork ‘picnic’ or pork butt, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
To assemble sandwiches
2 cups tangy-sweet red BBQ sauce
4 soft hoagie-style deli buns, split lengthwise
2 large dill pickles, each cut into 4 lengthwise slices
1 cup sliced yellow onion
To make the patties: Place ingredients for the patty mixture into a food processor and process until mostly smooth, about 1 minute.
Line a sheetpan with parchment paper and spray lightly with oil spray.
Divide patty mixture into 4 equal portions and place onto parchment, spaced apart.
Shape each portion into a flat rectangle about 6 ½ x 3 ½ inches.
Use a chopstick or the handle of a table knife to make 5 crosswise impressions in each patty, forming ‘ribs’. Press down firmly, without going all the way through the patty.
Place sheetpan in freezer for 2-3 hours until patties are frozen solid. (Do ahead: Patties can remain frozen for up to 1 month, tightly wrapped.)
To cook the patties: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 or 2 frozen patties rib-side-down and cook 4 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn over and cook another 3 minutes to brown the other side.
Repeat until all patties are browned.
Transfer to sheetpan and generously coat with bbq sauce on both sides. Cook in oven about 6 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and thickened.
To assemble: While patties are in oven, toast the inside of the buns in the same skillet the patties cooked in. Remove patties from oven and place one patty in each bun. Top patties with sliced pickles and onions, close the top of the bun and enjoy.