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Friday, January 11, 2013

Crock Pot Keeper: Sweet BBQ Pulled Pork

With just three ingredients, this recipe just couldn't get any easier. Add some buns and cheese to make sandwiches, or wrap the meat up in tortillas to make burritos. This recipe doubles well and is great to take to parties.

Sweet BBQ Pulled Pork (Serves 8)

2 lbs boneless pork shoulder
2 medium vidalia onions
1/2 cup sweet BBQ sauce, plus 1/2 cup for dressing sandwiches

Slice the onions into big rings. Put a layer of them on the bottom of the crockpot and put the rest aside for now. Wash the pork roast and lay it in the bottom of the crockpot, on top of the onions. If there is a fatty side to your roast, make sure to turn it towards the top of the pot. This will allow the fat to run down and coat the sides of the pork as it cooks. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce over the pork roast. Now pack the rest of the onions around the roast. Put the lid on the crockpot and set the temperature to low. Cook for 8 to 10 hours. The recipe can also be done on high for 4 to 5 hours, but this takes away some of the slow-cooking that is needed to make the meat juicy and tender. When the cook time is up, pour off about 2/3 of the juice. Use forks to shred the meat in the crockpot. Please note that when cooking meals in a crockpot, you should never lift the lid unless the recipe specifies that you should. Lifting the lid releases the heat necessary for cooking along with the juices that keep it tender.

Now I know many of you out there may not have cooked a full roast before, and going to the grocery store to find "pork shoulder" is not so easy as you may think. You may not even be able to find anything labeled with those words, and if you do, it will probably say "bone-in" and be far larger than anything you would want to cook. This is because most stores cut the shoulder into the smaller sections of the shoulder to make it more consumer-ready, and they label it with the sectioned names. When at the grocery, you probably see the shoulder cuts frequently, without ever realizing it. The shoulder cuts go by these names: picnic, blade, arm, shank, hand, butt roast, and Boston butt roast. That's right, the butt roast comes from the shoulder - not the butt! - of the pig. The "butt" terminology is from when pork used to be stored in casks or barrels (which were also known as butts) for storage or shipping. Any of the boneless shoulder cuts will work for pulled pork, but I think the butt roast works the best.

If you aren't sure about making this recipe because you've never cooked in a crockpot before or think that buying one would be expensive, let me assure you - crockpot cooking is very cheap, and the crockpots themselves are not all that costly. As a matter of fact, if you are willing to buy one used off of someplace like Ebay or Craigslist (or even a garage sale) they can be within the range of $5 to $20. As for crockpot cooking itself, it is very easy to do. There is no stirring, no thinking, no time-consuming effort at all. It's just prepping the ingredients and letting the slow-cook method do the rest!

All in all, this recipe took me 5 minutes to prep, 5 minutes to shred and cost me $5. Not bad for a meal, and I'll use the leftovers to make tacos de carnitas tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! I will have to try this. I have never made it with vidalia onions before!