PULLED PORK, SLOW-COOKER VERSION

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…

Crockpot Pulled Pork2

 

PULLED PORK IN A CROCK POT
(from B.N.)

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.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

pulledporkcomposite

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!

served

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!

CROWD PLEASING PULLED PORK

Suppose you´re facing the task of feeding a lot of people, but you´re short on time and low on cash. With this recipe you´ll have no worries, and everyone´ll love the moist, melt-in-your-mouth meat, with bits of tangy, crispy skin to please the palate!

PULLED PORK
(adapted from Gretchen´s and Mean Chef’s recipes)

1 whole pork butt, bone-in

for the dry rub
1/8 cup black pepper
1/4 cup paprika (I used smoked paprika)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients (except the meat)  in a bowl to prepare the dry rub (it´s a good idea to wear gloves).

Rub the pork all over with half of the dry rub, then place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. In the morning remove the pork from the bag and cover it with the rest of the spice mixture. If possible, let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, if not just place it in a 275F oven, uncovered on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast until tender, almost falling apart. Depending on the size, it will take 7 – 9 hours. Longer will not hurt it; the desired internal temperature is 200F.

Pull the pork into pieces with forks, allowing some bits to fall on the floor to the delight of your dogs.

Serve the meat over sandwich buns with the sauce of your choice, or follow my “Brazilian variation”:  transfer the pulled meat to a clean baking dish.  Add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan and place it over the stove-top burner on medium heat to dissolve the bits of pork goodness that stuck to it during the long, slow roasting.  Strain it over a pyrex cup and allow the fat to rise to the top, then discard it.  Use the liquid to moisten the pulled meat, squeeze fresh lemon juice all over, cover with aluminum foil and place in a 350F oven for 20 minutes before serving over rice and beans.  (You can leave it in the oven for longer, it only gets better).

ENJOY!

This recipe fits quite well in the ¨Perfect Sunday Dinner¨ category…

for comments and additional photos, jump to next page