You know you’ve been blogging for too long when you’ve got not one, not two, but three recipes for pulled pork… This one inaugurates our latest acquisition, a crock pot… I know, as if I needed another cooking gadget. But, I used to have one and when we moved four years ago I gave it away. Ever since that day, for reasons that I cannot quite comprehend, the most enticing recipes using slow-cookers kept reaching me. I finally could not take it anymore, this baby was on sale at our grocery store and that was the end of my resolve. This version of pulled pork was recommended by our post doc, who makes it regularly. She is one impressive, hard-working scientist, awesome runner (two marathons and countless half-marathons under her belt), and great cook. Yeah, she’s got it all… I confess that her praise of the crock pot was the final push for me to get it. This is one of her and her husband’s favorite recipes, and I can see why: the meat turned out melt in your mouth delicious, moist, with the right amount of spice and soooo easy to put together! As a bonus, clean up is a breeze: the surface basically cleans itself with no need for elbow grease. I am sold. Stay tuned for more adventures in the slow-cooking world…
PULLED PORK IN A CROCK POT
3 tablespoons paprika
1 to 2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ cup honey (I used 1/4 cup)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
3 ½ pounds pork shoulder, cut in half
In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the first six ingredients (all of the spices) with a fork. Pour in the honey, vinegar, and olive oil and stir to form a paste. Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top it with the 2 pieces of pork and then pour the honey paste over all sides of the pork pieces. It’s okay if some of it (or a lot of it) just drips down to the bottom.
Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook for 7 to 8 hours or until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork. Serve warm with fixings like homemade cole slaw and cornbread, if so desired.
to print the recipe, click here
There is really something to be said for adding ingredients to a crock pot and coming back hours later to a delicious and effortless dinner. Some cuts of meat will work better than others, though. I think the key to mastering the slow cooker is not pushing its limits. If you add boneless chicken breasts to it and cook them on high for five hours, you’ll have dry, tasteless meat on your plate. Pork butt (or shoulder) is a nice match for the slow cooker because it has so much fat all through the meat, it will never get dry. I’ve been trying to perfect my favorite recipe for chicken thighs using the crock pot, but haven’t found the holy grail yet. I am getting close, though. You just wait!
As to this pulled pork, it was perfect! I like to enjoy mine in a pretty low-carb way, with guacamole and queso fresco crumbled on top, maybe a leaf of lettuce to wrap it up. Messy but tasty. Phil prefers to have his with some rice or corn tortillas. Do as you please. Of course the recipe makes a lot of pulled pork, so it is a great option for dinner parties, but I like to get a couple of dinners out of it, then freeze what’s left.
One more thing: there will be a lot of liquid inside the crock pot at the end of cooking. I strain it, de-grease it, and pour most of it over the shredded meat. You can save some of the sauce and freeze for later.
ONE YEAR AGO: The Pie of the Century
TWO YEARS AGO: Bon Bon Chicken
THREE YEARS AGO: Leaving on a Jet Plane
FOUR YEARS AGO: A Pearfect Drink
FIVE YEARS AGO: Ming Tsai Under Pressure
SIX YEARS AGO: Paris, je t’aime!