Monday, March 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I'm solo parenting for a week. Mike's in Belize; I suspect he was a touch guilty about leaving me and our little brood - he was protesting a bit too loudly that he wasn't going on a holiday: that leading a group of more than 40, mostly hormone fueled teenagers, on a service learning expedition wasn't going to leave a lot of time for relaxing on the beach. As I hopped the puddle from my broken washing machine en route to stopping my toddler from having a bath in the toilet bowl (AGAIN), I had my doubts. I'd just checked the Belizian weather report: 26 degrees. Chilliwack: 9 degrees with a steady drizzle.

But that was Thursday, and it's Monday and we're all still happily standing. And eating. Mike's away so BRING ON THE MEAT!

We were too busy inhaling to stop and take a photo, so you'll have to imagine the sauce dripping buns of meaty goodness. I know that pulled pork has been around for a long time, but it's only been recently that it's entered my life. I couldn't fight destiny. There were greater foodie elements at work: cookbooks mysteriously falling open to pulled pork recipes. My beloved Vancouver Sun Wednesday Food section: Pulled Pork. Even Joan (our mom) was asking me for pulled pork recipes over the phone. Which I couldn't supply, I'D NEVER MADE IT. I felt sheepish. To top it off last month we went to Gary and Louise 's place for lunch, and what was on the menu? Pulled pork. Of course it was delicious, Gary is Mike's old roommate and a gourmet chef on the side. My picky husband didn't even look at the shredded meat  and was busy constructing a sweet potato fry sandwich, crazy.

It didn't even cross my mind to make this on the barbecue. I pulled out my trusty Mr. Crock to help me out. And he really did most of the work. You could follow my recipe (which was really easy) or you could get even easier and just chuck a seasoned pork roast in the slow cooker with a cup of water on low for the day, then shred it, dump the water and mix the pork with a cup of barbecue sauce. I'm sure it would taste fabulous. I'm almost positive that pulled pork in a slow cooker is impossible to screw up. The worst thing you could do is use a dry bun. The best thing you could do would be to make my go-to hamburger buns courtesy of Canadian Living. And maybe some coleslaw.

Slow Cooker Pulled-Pork
(This is a from few recipes combined, some had a dry rub or a marinade but I skipped this and still had a delicious final product) 

Combine the following in the slow cooker:

1 shoulder roast (my local grocery store had: Great for Pulled Pork on the label, I'm not sure how big it was)
Small can crushed tomatoes (could use tomato sauce too)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves minced garlic (1 tsp powdered garlic would be fine)
Optional: Something spicy - dash of smoked chipolte, shot of hot sauce, or chili powder
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water

Cook on low for the day - I left for 8 hours. Take the pork out of the slow cooker and let sit while you make your sauce:

Drain the fat off the liquid and then simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until reduced (if you're in a pinch just skim the fat off the liquid and add enough to the shredded to moisten the pork along with a shot of bottled barbecue sauce).

While your sauce reduces shred your pork with two forks.Put your shredded pork and sauce back into your pot or serving bowl (I put mine into the slow cooker on low while I did last minute diaper changing dinner pep.

Pile meat on buns - watch in amazement as your children, even the girl-who-protests-dinner-Every.Single.Night., happily devours.


  1. Well now I know what we will all have for our next C-V potluck. It will be our quietest potluck ever, as our brood also can't seem to eat enough of this. Imagine that. Eating in silence.

    I kept meaning to mention the pulled pork crock pot magic to you since you've started your crock pot posts. But you were on it, as usual.

    I'll bring the coleslaw and the Sweet Baby Ray's.

  2. I can't believe you've been holding out on me. Eating in silence, I can almost, stretching-way-back, remember that :)

  3. Pulled pork does seem to be a 'thing.' Your post supports my theory: we on reemseats are nothing if not trendy.

    Would this be tasty on tacos?

    1. Definitely tasty on tacos - I had leftovers and mixed the pork with rice, cheese, sauteed peppers and onions for enchilada filling. Delicious.

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