Saturday, July 7, 2012

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork with Homemade Barbeque Sauce

For 4th of July this year, we ended up straying from the classic hot dog and hamburger type of meal and went with barbeque pulled pork instead.  Pulled pork is one of my husband's favorite foods (every time we go to a barbeque-style place to eat, I always know what he'll be ordering) so it still seemed to be a great way to celebrate 4th of July.

While I had made this pulled pork recipe before (but hadn't shared it yet!), this was my first time making my own barbeque sauce.  We had really liked a Trader Joe's bottled sauce and while that version is still good, this recipe was even better. It's so easy to make -- it only takes 20 minutes and I already had all the ingredients in my kitchen.  As my husband described it, the flavor was nicely balanced with tangy and sweet and not ketchup-y tasting.   Excellent with the pulled pork and my husband used it to dip his sweet potato fries as well. Oh, and in a few days I'll have another recipe that would be a great use for this BBQ sauce!

The pulled pork recipe is wonderful and I love using my slow cooker.  I rubbed the spice mixture over the pork the night before and then in the morning, pulled out my handy slow cooker and let it do all the work. I halved this recipe so I only needed to cook my pork for about 6 hours instead of the full 8-10.  I'm pretty meticulous about getting out all the visible fat (who wants to bite down on a piece of that?) but other than that, it's a very hands-off recipe. 

We served this with homemade hamburger buns, sweet potato fries, Thai slaw, and cut watermelon for an amazing, albeit slightly untraditional, 4th of July meal.  Oh, and it probably wouldn't surprise my family at all that I had to put a few Heinz Genuine Dill pickle slices on my pulled pork sandwich (the only pickle we eat, thankyouverymuch).

BBQ Pulled Pork
Taken from: Crumbly Cookie
Makes a lot (I halved this recipe and we got 5-6 generous meals out of it)
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons table salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 (6-8 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional, I omitted)
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (see below for homemade recipe)
  1. Mix all spice rub ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Massage spice rub into meat. Wrap tightly in double layer of plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (For stronger flavor, the roast can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  3. Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker. Add liquid smoke, if using, and ¼ cup water. Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until meat is fork-tender.
  4. Transfer roast to cutting board; discard liquid in liner. “Pull” by tearing meat into thin shreds with two forks or your fingers, discarding fat.
  5. Place shredded meat back in slow cooker liner; toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce, and heat on low for 30-60 minutes, until hot. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

Homemade Barbeque Sauce
Taken from: AllRecipes
Makes 3 cups
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke (I omitted)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (I omitted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Sauce can also be thinned using a bit of water if necessary. Brush sauce onto any kind of meat during the last 10 minutes of cooking.


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