When I started thinking about our Super Bowl party, I immediately decided I wanted to make pulled pork and chili. Toby has an award-winning chili recipe and will be posting that later. But I thought the slow-cooker would be perfect for the pork.
We had slow-cooker pulled pork sandwiches at Matt and Hilary’s house a while back and they were amazing — so I asked for their recipe. It sounded really easy, but it involved onions and onion soup mix and our friend Dan is allergic to onions (the first time he ever came to our house, in North Carolina, I made him really sick with ANOTHER pulled pork recipe involving onions, so I wanted to avoid that again). I also didn’t want to put a lot of barbecue sauce in it because I wanted people to be able to add whatever kind they wanted. So I searched around and ended up kinda winging it. But it turned out great!
You’re going to need a huge, disgusting piece of pork. I think this was about 7 pounds, and actually came with ANOTHER hunk of meat of similar size (which is currently in our freezer). But if you aren’t feeding a bunch of Marines or you have a small Crock-Pot, you can use half this amount.
I used the rub from a Tyler Florence recipe, except I used smoked paprika instead of regular. I thought that might add a slight smoked flavor to the meat, but I didn’t really notice it. Also — be aware that besides the mess that results from just opening the package, you will get pretty gross from rubbing this all over the meat. And you may need extra-huge Ziploc bag. This didn’t really fit in a gallon bag.
Incidentally, when I was looking for slow-cooker recipes for pulled pork, I learned that Texans don’t do pulled pork BBQ — it’s all about beef. So I guess this isn’t very Dallas-esque. But I don’t think anyone minded.
I don’t have any good photos of it in the Crock-Pot. Or of Toby shredding it. But I do have photos of something you may want to go with the pork… coleslaw.
You are actually supposed to use a green bell pepper, but the one I bought froze in my fridge. And I probably could have done a better job chopping/shredding the cabbage. Oh well.
I don’t like coleslaw, so I didn’t taste this. However, several people commented on it (without prompting) and said it was great. It also wasn’t too much of a pain to make, and it smelled good. So I recommend it. Let me know if you like it!
Slow-cooker pulled pork
3 tablespoons paprika (smoked or regular)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
Pork – shoulder or Boston butt (5-7 pounds, bone in or out)
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
Stir together first five ingredients. Rinse pork, then rub spice mixture all over the pork. Put the pork in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, remove pork from bag and place in Crock-Pot. Add 1/2 cup water or broth (I used water) and cover. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Carefully drain extra water*, then shred pork with two forks and discard bone (if there is one). Serve pork with barbecue sauce and cole slaw (and buns or rolls, if you’re making sandwiches).
*If you are concerned about draining the pork, you could just shred it first and then remove it from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon to get rid of the excess water.
Coleslaw (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Gourmet)
2 1/2 lb green cabbage
1 medium onion
1 large green bell pepper
1 large carrot
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Core and finely chop or shred cabbage. Finely chop onion and bell pepper, then coarsely grate carrot. Toss the vegetables together in a large bowl.
Whisk together mayo, vinegar and sugar, then pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Refrigerate (stirring occasionally) for at least an hour or up to a day.