Okay, I know you’re thinking that this is an oxymoron. I’m asking again for trust.
I thought this sounded just wrong. But….after I got that spice rub where I wanted it, I decided to give this a try.
I’m glad I did.
My last post was a recipe for a dry rub that could be used on almost any meat or poultry. At that time, I believe I mentioned pulled pork. In the slow cooker. Make it any time of the year, give it a quick finish in the oven after work or ball practice, shopping, whatever. Voila, dinner!
I also believe I talked about getting it posted sooner…..yeah. Life so often interferes with the best laid plans, does it not? There have been a number of days that I wish I had put a batch of this stuff in the slow cooker. As it was, the last time I made it, I divided up the leftovers into freezer portions, then forgot I had it when I needed it. Really, I ask myself, what is the point of having this if you can’t even remember that it’s there? Duh.
Anyway, who doesn’t love a batch of pulled pork? When you stop and think about it, there are so many things you can do with it, if you just think outside the box. Something I seem to have issues with at times. But in the near future, I will conjure up some ways to use this awesome creation besides putting it on a bun. In the meantime, it is won-der-ful on a bun! Especially if you roast up some of those Lemon Pepper Roasted Potatoes to serve with it! I was doing it simple for this photo. Mixed with my favorite bottled barbeque sauce, then just some pepper jack cheese. Yum! Smoked cheese would have worked quite well too…..
- 1 3 -to-4-pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
- ¼-1/2 cup Almost Famous Spice Rub, as referenced/linked above
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
- Heat the oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet; add the pork and cook on medium/high heat, turning, until browned on all sides, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the meat and set on a plate for now. Whisk ½ cup water into the drippings in the skillet. Transfer the liquid to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker.
- Add the vinegar, tomato paste, mustard, and 1 to 1½ cups water to the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Add the pork, cover and cook on low, 6-8 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove the pork and transfer to a jelly roll type pan. Something shallow with low sides. Put the pork in the oven for 20-30minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 15-20 minutes. Using forks (I used my hands), pull the pork apart,l removing the fat. At this point, you can pull until it is as broken up how you like. You could give it a rough chop if the pieces are too long for your taste. Mix with onions and barbeque sauce of choice and cook for 15-20 minutes and serve on buns. Or, you could serve it as is, dressed with your sauce of choice. However you like.
SO, you start with a cut of pork, typically a cut from the shoulder as the fat content is more flavorful and will produce a finished product that is very moist and flavorful. But, I know that there are often phenomenal sales on boneless pork loin, making it more economical. You could always use the loin and throw in some bacon, just for the fat content, you know. Riiiight. Well, everything is better with bacon. Most things. This would never be hurt by throwing in some bacon. You rub it down good with that dry rub, brown it for a few minutes on each side, throw it in the slow cooker and forget it for hours. A half hour in the oven at a high heat and oh, boy. That time in the oven just gets it away from the kind of boiled thing in the slow cooker.