Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easy Slow-Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork

If you've never had a Southern-style pulled pork sandwich, you don't know what you're missing. My wife and I recently shared one on our vacation to Newport in Oregon. It was the special at Cafe Stephanie in Historic Newport on Nye Beach. It's a great cafe, and their pulled-pork sandwich was pretty good, served with a perfect, crispy dill pickle spear and potato chips. To be honest, though, I like mine better.

You can use whatever kind of barbecue sauce you want. When I think of Southern-style pulled pork, though, I think of a vinegar based barbecue sauce. I've included the recipe I'm currently using. Feel free to change things up, though. That's the beauty of barbecue. Making your own signature sauces is part of the fun.

Equipment needed
Baking sheet
Medium saucepan
Large mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons

1 3/4 cups (14 oz.) beef broth
2 – 3 pound pork shoulder roast, tenderloin, or boneless ribs
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Trim any extra fat from the pork. Add it, along with the salt and broth, to the slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 4 to 6 hours. Let it cool enough to handle safely and shred with a fork. It may not seem like it's working at first, but trust me. It will shred easily once you get started.

Make the sauce while the pork is cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pork from the slow-cooker, discarding any remaining broth (there won't be much). Toss with the barbecue sauce in a large bowl. Add as much barbecue sauce as you want, just don't add so much that it turns into soup. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until heated through. Serve on good buns.

Makes about 4 – 6 servings.

To Make the Sauce
Heat the water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat, and slowly simmer for about 5 minutes. You don't need to cook vinegar barbecue sauce for very long.

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