|Bowl o' Pork. Possibly the least appetizing way I could|
have possible photographed this. On a toasted bun with cheese
jalapenos and sauce? NAH! IN A BOWL!!!!
Then I got even MORE excited. My brand new slow-cooker was only 24$ down from 80$. 'Fuck yeah!' thought I. And home we went.
Next time I was at the grocery store I decided to pick me up a big piece of pork shoulder. Which sounds really gross, and is essentially just a big hunk of meat. Then I decided to slow cook some pulled pork. And then, I picked up a jar of BBQ sauce...CHEATING SCUM!
This was my first time trying to make pulled pork. Furthermore, I have never eaten pulled pork before. Not being able to eat it now puts me at a culinary disadvantage. When I'm trying to cook something totally new, especially things I *can't* eat - I tend to read as many recipes as I can lay my hands on and then compare and find a middle group that seems like it makes sense. That's what I did for pulled pork. 75% of the recipes out there are as follows: stick pork in slow cooker; add jar of bbq sauce; wait 12 hours; eat.
I only realized afterward that this is the recipe for tired moms who are still trying to cook something awesome (file this one away for 10 years or so) and that there are mean smoke-daddies in the south who do pretty much everything to their meat. Yup that's right. They do everything to their meat. Heyo! I read one recipe which was pretty much a couple cans of Dr. Pepper, and what looked like half a bottle of liquid smoke. Apparently that = pulled pork. Oh the South. I love everything about your Americana cooking.
I have also done even more extensive research and discovered there is a lot of contention between pork pullers over whether you cook the meat in sauce or just as is. Some maintain that you only add the sauce once the pork is ready to go on the bun. That's the plan for next time: season; smoke; slow cook w/ liquid; wait, wait wait; mix in bbq sauce and eat.
So below I will present to you my first venture into pork pulling. It's easy and it's effective, even if it isn't the most committed way. But don't fret my pallies, I'm a vegetarian who will smoke ribs for 8 hours. A serious BBQ'ing recipe will be coming down the pipes at some point.
1 big chunk of pork. I used pork shoulder which took a long time to cook. I've read about using pork butt, pork loin, pretty much any big piece of pork you can find. I have no idea how much mine weighed but it was about half the size of a loaf of bread.
1 delicious jar of delicious PC Pulled Pork Sauce
1 tbsp ground chipotle peppers/smoky paprika/chili powder/liquid smoke. Basically something to give it some depth and dirty.
1/2 tbsp salt and some pepper
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup of water
note: I threw in a few new potatoes because I thought the idea of pulled pork potatoes sounded awesome. I wouldn't do this. I'm pretty sure they sucked up a bunch of liquid and didn't taste as orgasmic as I had imagined.
other things you will need:
a slow cooker
a couple forks
some tongs to assist you if the forks aren't good enough
a lot of time
- Read your slow cooker manual. Mine didn't tell me much, but I'm pretty sure I used it wrong anyway. Oh well, there's first time for everything! This was my first time slow cooking so some nonsense was to be expected.
- Season your big hunk of pork with your salt, pepper and chipotle.
- Put your butter and cider in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add your pork. Cover with about half a jar of bbq sauce.
- Turn your slow cooker on to LOW and set it for 8 hours. Go to work, come home. Try and pull the meat apart a bit with forks. If it's easy, great, shred it and add more sauce and then eat. If not (this is what happened to me) add another 1/4 of the sauce and stir. Add a slash of beer if you are drinking it. Reset the slow cooker and go to bed.
- Wake up. Pull at it with forks a little more. Hopefully it's falling apart. Shred it with forks if you can to about half way shredded. Add a that water to your jar of bbq sauce and shake it to mix. Add half to your pork if it's looking dry. Reset your slow cooker, go to work, come home.
- Examine your pork (ew). Shred it all. If it's dry, add more sauce and mix.
- Toast bun. Place pork on bun. Cover with jalapenos and cheese. Melt cheese. Top with other bun. Eat. Discuss. Was it worth slow cooking for 32 hours? I hope so. Taylor certainly things so. Now you have to figure out what to do with all your pork. Or just wait and keep reading as I cook my way through 4 pounds of pulled pork.