Nothing gets this girl as excited as the words “pig roast” or “pulled pork.” I think I could live without chicken, and maybe even beef, but not pig. I love me my pig. So last weekend, I went with a friend to a pig roast. I imagined heaping platters of all you could eat pork, unfortunately, there was nothing “all you can eat” about this roast. Still, we happily licked our platters clean and moved on to the drinking portion of the evening. Until midnight rolled around and I exclaimed, “I want more pig.” We didn’t actually satisfy that craving on the spot, but the next day, still craving some good southern comfort food, I proceeded to make pulled pork. I don’t have a smoker, so I made my pork in the slow cooker. It still tasted great, and while it lacked a little smoky flavor, I will definitely make this again (though I’m curious what the effect of some liquid smoke might be). I also made the Gluten-Free girl’s arepas, and the combination was spectacular. So if you are craving some pork-y goodness, give this recipe a try.
Pulled Pork (from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Slow Cooker)
Canola or corn oil, 3 tablespoons
Boneless pork shoulder, 4 lb (2 kg), cut into 3 equal pieces (I cut the recipe in half and used a boneless rib roast, because I had trouble finding boneless pork shoulder, it worked well, but cooked a little faster)
Yellow onion, 1, finely chopped
Cider vinegar, 3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml)
Tomato ketchup, 3/4 cup (6 oz/185 g)
Brown sugar, 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz/75 g) firmly packed
Light molasses, 1/4 cup (2 3/4 oz/80 g)
Red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons
Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon
Dry mustard, 1 teaspoon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Soft sandwich rolls, split and toasted, for serving
1. Brown the pork.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork pieces and brown well on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
2. Make the sauce and cook the pork.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the frying pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the mixture begins to bubble. Pour over the pork. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours or the low-heat setting for 8-10 hours. The pork should be very tender.
3. Shred the pork and serve.
Transfer the pork pieces to a platter. Using a pair of forks, shred each piece of pork, removing and discarding any large pieces of fat. Skim off the excess fat from the surface of the sauce and return the pulled pork to the sauce. Stir together to combine. Serve the pork and sauce atop the sandwich rolls.