One of my favorite Christmas-time dinners, it turns out, is pretty easy to make. It’s also a fairly consistent crowd-pleaser so it might just become a standby for entertaining.
I used to really enjoy cooking dinner – then I had children. I keep things pretty simple now but every time I use my crockpot and experience the ease of clean up and joy of hands off, make ahead cooking, I wonder why I don’t use it more. I found this pulled pork how-to on the Food Network website, and changed the rub to suit my taste. The end result is spicy and tender – perfect with accoutrements. The bonus is that because you’re making it yourself, you can pick through it carefully while shredding, removing all the gristly bits.
Though I trekked to Giant for a pork shoulder, my butcher friend informed me that the pork butt is where it’s at. A butt and a shoulder are the same part of a the pig – the butt is bone-in whereas the shoulder has the bone removed. Also, the giant hunk of meat cost me a mere 8 dollars (shoulder will be more like 10 or 12, nbd). Basically you rub the mix onto the meat, then throw it in the crockpot with two thickly chopped onions (the onions get thrown out, so don’t waste time slicing them thinly) and two cups of water. 8 hours on low and you’re ready to shred.
Crock Pot Pulled Pork
Makes 6-8 Sandwiches
3 3/4-4 lb. pork butt or shoulder
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Into the pot with the meat:
2 onions, sliced
2 c. water
Sliced Provolone cheese
1. Combine spice rub ingredients and rub over the surface of the meat.
2. Place meat in the crock pot along with onions and water. Set crockpot to low for 8 hours.
3. Remove meat and place in a large bowl. Set up a strainer over a pot and pour out the contents of the crockpot, reserving all of the liquid and discarding onions. Pull meat apart with hands, separating meat from bone (if your meat was bone-in) and fat.
4. Return meat to crockpot along with reserved liquid. Add salt, to taste (at least 1/2 tsp. kosher salt). Mix well and serve once heated through.