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When you’re having a crowd, a popular main course and fuss-free recipe is pulled pork.
Pulled pork is a method of cooking where a tough cut of meat is cooked slowly at low temperatures, allowing the meat to become tender enough so that it can be “pulled,” or easily broken into tender pieces.
This recipe uses a slow cooker, which in turn can be placed on a table for guests to help themselves. We made it over Labor Day Weekend (check out these pulled pork sliders, which also have a recipe for the cabbage slaw that goes so well with the pork) and are making it again this weekend, for holiday party fare.
You can provide burger buns or mini buns for those who want to fix themselves a sandwich; the cabbage slaw; and a big, green salad to counter the richness of the pork. We’re also making a whole-grain “dirty brown rice” with black beans and a garnish of green onions.
Thanks to Ryan Hughes and Zabars.com for this tasty recipe.
RECIPE: PULLED PORK
Ingredients For 6-8 Servings
For the BBQ Pork Shoulder
3-pound pork shoulder
2 onions, quartered
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon liquid smoke flavor
2 cups water
Pulled pork on a bun. Photo courtesy Zabars.com.
1 jar of your favorite barbecue sauce (plus a back-up jar if guests use a lot of it)
Quality hamburger buns
Optional sides: coleslaw, pickles, potato chips
Pork shoulder, an inexpensive cut that’s tenderized via slow cooking. Photo courtesy FoodNutritionTable.com.
1. PREPARE the dry rub: Combine kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper. Coat the entire meat with this rub (you can’t over-coat the meat at this point). Set the meat aside.
2. PLACE the quartered onions and crushed garlic into the slow cooker. Add the meat. Slowly pour in the water until the meat is about 2/3 covered, avoid pouring it over the meat so you don’t remove the rub. Add the liquid smoke.
3. COOK on low for 9-10 hours.
4. REMOVE the meat from the crock. It’s going to be falling-apart delicious. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out any meat that may have fallen off. If you’ve used a piece of meat with the bone in, remove the bone; it should just slip right out. Pull apart (or shred) the meat with two forks. This will also be very easy and the meat will be very tender.
5. ADD the barbecue sauce to the meat now or serve it on the side, allowing each person add sauce to his or her sauce as desired.
6. TO SERVE: If you’re serving from the clock, first clean the crock, discarding the liquid and onions. Return the meat to the crock set to keep warm. It’s best to add some barbecue sauce if you’re serving it this way, to help keep the meat from drying out.
Alternatively, you can place the shredded meat on the hamburger buns and serve them on a plater, with the barbecue sauce and slaw on the side.
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