Wednesday, July 1

Carolina Pulled Pork

Summer is synonymous with Bar-be-cue. I'm not talking about grilling, I don't mean throwing a steak or piece of chicken on the grill, (which I love by the way). But by bar-be-cue, I mean low and slow. And what better way to cook something low and slow than in your crock pot?

I know, I'm committing bar-be-cue heresy, just bear with me. Unlike most of my Texan neighbors I do not own a smoker, (yet). I'm one of the few out here with a propane gas grill. And while I can make a mean rack of ribs on it, pulled pork and brisket are just not feasible. I cannot justify the amount of propane it would take to cook something for at least twelve hours. I also don't enjoy the summer heat and humidity here is Texas, so am glad to make this indoors. So I turn to my crock pot the night before I want to serve this, with very delicious results.

I adapted this recipe for my crock pot from an authentic smoker recipe and started making it when I lived back in California for catering. It is so easy, and makes so much, it's really a no brainer. Many, many people have asked for the recipe, and are shocked to find out it is as easy as it is. They too think they're going to have to be standing guard all night over a smoker, and are delighted to find out they get to sleep through the work.

There are actually four parts to this recipe, but don't let the number of components worry you, each one only takes about five minutes to complete.

The Pork:
~6 lbs. Pork Shoulder (Boston Butt)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

The Rub:
3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (packed) dark or light brown sugar
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

How to Put it All Together:

Mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl to combine. Then "rub" over the Boston Butt. No I don't know why it's called "butt" if it's from the shoulder. Anyway, place pork in your crock pot, and drizzle vinegar and Worcestershire sauce over the meat. Cover with the lid, set on low, and go to bed. Sleep in, the meat can wait. The great thing about this dish is the meat can be ready for lunch, or just keep it going until dinner. It's very forgiving. When your pork looks like this . . .spoon the extra juices off the meat and any fat. The pork will give off a lot of juice and you don't want your pulled pork swimming in it. I take out as much as I can with a ladle, some extra moisture left behind is fine. Especially if you're going to keep the pork in the crock pot on "warm", or whatever setting your crock pot has, until everything else is ready. Take two forks to the roast and shred the meat.

You now have delicious pulled pork.
Since this is Carolina pork we're talking spicy and vinegary. Not the sweet sticky Kansas city stuff, (which I also love). So this bar-be-cue sauce packs a punch. I usually also serve a good bottled sauce on the side, especially for the kids who like the sweet stuff. But if you're going to go authentic, make your own sauce.

The Sauce:
1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon (packed) light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Simply combine all the ingredients until the sugar and salt dissolves. The sauce can be made a couple of days in advance, and it keeps well in the refrigerator.

The coleslaw is also Carolina, so again, we're talking tangy and sharp. Not the sweet stuff you get at your grocery store deli counter. It only has three ingredients, and if you made you're own sauce, you're already 1/3 of the way there.

The Coleslaw:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Bar-be-cue Sauce
1 2 1/2-pound green cabbage, quartered, cored, very thinly sliced (Or you can use the preshredded stuff)

Whisk the mayonnaise and bar-be-cue sauce together to combine well. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. You may add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least two hours and up to ten before serving, tossing occasionally.

The cooking method may not be authentic, but the classic Carolina Pulled Pork is served sandwich style on a soft bun, topped with the coleslaw with just a drizzle of the tangy sauce. Especially good served with a spear of dill pickle and some crunchy chips, (potato or corn, you decide). And there you have it, Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and you didn't even have to sweat away in the blazing summer heat to enjoy some tasty summer, (or anytime of the year) bar-be-cue.

This recipe easily serves 12 hungry people.


...Mrs. Southern Bride... said...

Oh wow...that looks sooo good!!!

Tiffany said...

This looks yummy!!! And so sloppy! I love it! :) We don't have a smoker either, so inside it is for those great meats. Going to show the hubster this recipe.

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Doesn’t it! Dawn is an amazing cook. I know that eating meat isn’t exactly green but…. it is made in a crock-pot ;-)

confused homemaker said...

That looks so awesome. Hubby would just love it, the kids too. Ummm...I know what I'm going to be adding to my food line up.

Erica said...

i could have really used this recipe a couple days ago i just did a pork shoulder in my crockpot and had no idea what i was doing this recipe looks sooo good i will have to save it for next time. Thanks for sharing.

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Your welcome Erica!
My friend Dawn is an amazing cook. Some friends of ours followed this recipe for 4th of July and it came out so yummy! Let us know how it works for you.

Blessed2Serve said...

This looks delicious! When I visited my friend in South Carolina a few years ago I remember having the BEST pulled pork with that great SC vinegar-based sauce. Yum!

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

Your welcome Beth. Let us know when you try this. It really is easy and yummy.