Friday, January 16, 2009

Pulled Pork in the Crockpot

The house smells like a barbeque pit. I made one of our favorite dishes early, we'll eat it over the weekend. I love this because now I have dinner ready for both Saturday and Sunday. And if for some reason we've not polished it off after two nights, I can freeze the rest. I'm going to try to always do crockpot meals on the weekends (chili, soup, stew) It is nice to have the free time to relax instead of cooking and doing so many dishes. We usually have a big breakfast on Sundays, so that is all the cooking I want to do anyway. And I also try to do some cooking ahead every few weekends to have meals on hand for those crazy nights when I can't even think about "what's for dinner".

This is a fantastically easy recipe from Recipezaar which I adapted to the crockpot. And it is yummy. Here's the full recipe (it is slow cooked in the oven)

1 whole pork butt (I hate that term, but it is what it is, and it is yummy) It should be a good sized one - they are a large roast, and not too cheap, but you'll have enough to feed quite a crowd. Make sure it will fit in your crockpot - I have an extra large crockpot so it just fits fine.

Make the Rub
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (easy to find in the aisle with all the other sugars, and not too expensive)
2 tablespoons salt (I put in a little less, fix to taste and blood pressure tolerance!)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all of the ingredients well and rub this all over the roast - all sides and use all of the rub. If you want you can let this "marinate" for overnight - I never plan that far ahead so put on the rub and throw that butt in the crockpot. I put it on High for the 1st hour. Then I turn it down to Low for about 8-10 more hours. The house will smell divine. Then, when you think it is done, check before lifting it out of the crock pot - just take a fork and see if the meat falls off the bone. It should just fall right off if it is ready. I've tried to do this in less than 8 hours and it just won't work - so make sure it is really falling off the bone tender before you try to serve this. If it is, start lifting out the meat (and some juice) onto a serving platter - one that wells enough so the juice stays on the platter. Use two forks to "pull" the meat - just keep separating it until it is all shredded - setting aside the bone of course. Now get your favorite barbecue sauce. There are tons of recipes for barbecue sauces, but I am in love with BullsEye Original - it is so good I don't see the need to try to make one on my own. So I take my bottle of sauce and start mixing it and tossing it with the meat - adding how much you want according to taste. Serve this on lightly toasted buns with a side of cold fresh cole slaw (something else I don't make but prefer to buy at the store!) Actually if it was my choice I'd just have a cucumber salad on the side, but in the Carolina's I've already broken the sacred barbecue rule by not using the "vinegar" based sauce - which I hate - so I won't push the cole slaw issue. Some people actually put the cole slaw on top of the pulled pork on the bun...go figure. Anywho - this is what we'll be dining on this weekend. Yee haw!