September 13, 2011

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

It's dinner in minutes, but it cooks all day.

Slow cooked pulled pork is incredibly easy and intensely delicious. This is a must-have recipe. I was inclined to develop it after M requested pulled pork week after week. We usually get our pulled pork fix when we go out to a few of our favorite comfort food restaurants, and this request was one I knew was possible but wasn't ready to commit to.

Finally I looked up an initial recipe and discovered that pulled pork is made from Boston Butt. I didn't even know what a Boston Butt was. Sure enough my butcher had one huge hunk waiting for me when I visited the prime shop. He handed the giant, paper-wrapped package over to me with a smile and said, knowingly, "it's going to taste even better the next day."

Well, the pulled pork tasted amazing the day of and sure enough, even better a couple of days later when we got around to eating the leftovers. After hours of slow cooking in the crock-pot, the meat simply shredded itself into pieces with a gentle stir.

Every strand was juicy, tender, and finger-licking succulent. The house was filled all day with a deep, somewhat tangy aroma of smoky and sweet spices.

The first round of pork we took to our friend's house and served as little open-faced appetizers on sliced Tuscan bread. The second round we ate ourselves, at home, on big, soft potato rolls. Both were excellent. We vowed to make pulled pork again as as soon as possible. With a recipe this easy, there are simply no excuses.

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork
For the pork:
2 T. dark brown sugar
1 T. smoked paprika
1 T. chili powder
1 t. salt
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. ground chili pepper
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 5lb. Boston Butt
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup

3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. ketchup
3 T. dark brown sugar
2 t. smoked paprika
1 t. chili powder

Combine all sugar and spices for pork in a small bowl, then rub completely over the pork and allow to sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Place 1/2 of the onions in the bottom of the crock pot, then pour the water over the onions, then place the Boston Butt on top of the onions and cover with the remaining onions. Whisk together the
ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and mustard. Set on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours, and about halfway through cooking pour apple cider mixture over the pork and stir gently. Meat is done when it falls apart when touched. (Can also be cooked on high 5-7 hours).

To make the sauce, whisk all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until thickened. Serve pork on soft buns with 1 T. sauce each.

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