Slow Cooker Pulled Pork and Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Not to be dramatic, but….this recipe will rock your world. The pork is tender and juicy, and the barbecue sauce has just the right amount of tang. Combine their powers and you won’t know what happened to your taste buds. Try this pork once, and you will never again frequent your local barbeque joint. Think I’m kidding? Give it a try.

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This is a great dish to make on a weekend. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the scent emanating from your kitchen as the pork cooks. Alternatively, it’s a crock pot meal, so assuming you make the BBQ sauce ahead, this is totally a weekday dinner option.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Adapted from Food Network

Serves: 6

You’ll need:

  • 3 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3-4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (any kind will work)
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 Ciabatta buns, toasted
  • Barbecue sauce (see below)

1. Combine brown sugar, paprika, ground mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

2. Rub the pork with the sugar and spices mixture.

3. In a heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the pork on each side for 2 or 3 minutes to sear in the spices.

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4. Combine the vinegar, 2 Tbs. brown sugar, tomato paste, and water in your slow cooker. Add the pork, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.

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5. While the pork is doing its thing, make your barbecue sauce.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Based on Chow

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 brown sugar, packed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbs. vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Add all ingredients to a pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, or so, until desired consistency is reached.

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3. Remove from heat and cool. Once cooled, sauce can be refrigerated and stored until you need it.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, cont.

6. Once the pork is done, remove to a cutting board. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a pot. Rough chop the pork, and return it to the slow cooker (either off or on a warm setting) to keep warm.

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7. Bring the liquid to a boil, and allow it to reduce for roughly 10 minutes. Once reduced by about half, add 1 cup to the pulled pork. Stir.

8. Toast your ciabatta buns, and serve.

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Enjoy!

If you’re interested…another slow cooker recipe and a delicious cheesecake.

Pot Roast

When I was growing up, pot roast was the quintessential Sunday dinner meal. So easy, so quick. Throw everything in a crock pot before church, and when you return, dinner is served!

Another great thing: pot roast is extremely flexible. You can add whatever you like to the mix! Though I used a venison roast, you can use whatever you like (or have in your freezer).

Pot Roast

You’ll need:

  • a roast
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2-3 potatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 pints (or a 15 oz can) stewed tomatoes
  • salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Rub salt into the outside of the roast. Once the oil is heated, seer the roast on all sides.

2. Add roast, wine, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and potatoes to the crock pot. Mix.

3. Add seasonings to taste, approximately 1/4 tsp. of each, more or less to taste.

4. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, until potatoes and carrots are soft.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Crock pot yogurt

Want to make a half gallon of yogurt for $3*? You’ve come to the right place! I got the recipe from here.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 6 oz. container of plain yogurt (not sweetened)
  • thermometer
  • crock pot

Set your crock pot to low, and pour in 1/2 gallon of whole milk. Research shows that reduced fat works, as well, if that’s more your thing. Allow the temperature of the milk to rise slowly to 170 degrees. This will take anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours. It took mine the 4 hours…

Once your milk reaches 170 degrees, turn off the crock pot. Keep the pot covered and allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees. Once it does so, remove 1 cup of milk and whisk 1/2 cup of plain yogurt into it. Once combined, whisk that mixture into the crock pot with the rest of the milk.

Cover. Wrap the crock pot in a couple of towels to add insulation. Let it sit until it thickens and cools. This will take at least 8 hours, but it can sit for up to 24 before it needs to be refrigerated.

It worked! I’m thrilled. The yogurt is a bit more runny than the store bought stuff. One solution is to strain the yogurt through cheese cloth. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Keep 1/2 cup of this yogurt for your next batch.

* Price will vary based on your location and whether or not you purchase organic/local milk.