Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

You guys. O. M. G. I've been writing (sporadically, I'll admit) this blog for over five years, and it didn't dawn on me until Labor Day weekend.  Somehow, by some freak accident, I've never posted my recipe for slow cooker pulled pork.  This is huge, but perhaps fortuitous, since my recipe has evolved ever-so-slightly over the years.  About 6 or so years ago, I took my pulled pork to a work potluck, and I soon regretted it.  It became "THE dish" that people expected me to bring to potlucks:  Nice, because I'm glad people love it so much.  Not so nice because I was still somewhat young in my career and sometimes it's just so much cheaper to bring a cobbler (which, thanks to Pinterest, is the most popular recipe on the site).

But I digress.  I seriously love this recipe.  It's simple, uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand, and pairs well with Nanny's potato salad (also pictured, but with less mustard than I normally add.  It totally needed more mustard.)  This would be great for tailgating or watching the game from the comfort of your sofa.  Lately I've been into topping it with a simple slaw of cabbage (regular, savoy or Napa all work well), carrot, and a dressing of mayo - or Miracle Whip if you're like the majority of my family - a splash of vinegar, a pinch of salt, a fat pinch of sugar, and a bit of black pepper.

P.S. Toast your buns.  It totally makes a difference.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Serves 4 - 6
Click here for a printable recipe

1 1-1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin or pork shoulder (I usually go with whatever's on sale)
3/4 c. chicken stock, plus more as needed
1 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 t. maple syrup
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 t. liquid smoke
3/4 t. lime juice
2 chipotles in adobo, diced small with seeds removed, plus 1 T. adobo sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. smoked paprika
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 - 2/3 c. ketchup

Set your slow cooker to Low.  Trim any visible fat or silver skin from your pork and set aside.  In the crock pot, stir together the chicken stock through the smoked paprika (you can add a pinch of S&P here, but don't go crazy).Once everything is mixed together, add in the pork and cover.  Cook until the pork is fall-apart tender, at least 5 hours and up to 8.  If the mixture starts to look dry, add chicken stock (or water) to keep things moist.

Shred pork with two forks until well shredded, and then add ketchup to the desired consistency.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve on a toasted hamburger bun, topped with coleslaw (optional, but recommended).

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