Food Daydreams #5: Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

These frosty winter nights leave me craving warm soups and stews, (I know it's technically still fall and I do not care). Really, anything to stop shivering next to my space heater. But after weeks of the Irishman cooking his simple beef stew almost every night, three days straight of pasta with sad salads to get some extra veggies in there, and then the night I went wild and made a chicken and mushroom pie from scratch ... I'm tired. I'm done. I don't want soup and I'm sick of cooking and doing the dishes.

Do you know about the dishwasher in the Treehouse? It's... not me. I do most of the cooking, but the Irishman is mad about it! There is no machine to do that work for him.

So that was two weeks of cold weather foods. If I go the wrong direction now we could end up with creamy, butter sauces and gain 15 lbs in a week. Which would be delicious and also very sad.

So now what?

Well, I am craving BBQ. Only BBQing in the freezing cold is not exactly my cup of tea. What IS my cup of tea, you ask? Pulled Pork.

But L.B.! You say, I don't have a smoker and the free time to roast meat for hours on low in my oven until it falls apart! That's what restaurants are for! I could not possibly make pulled pork in my own kitchen!

Fear not, my friends. Yes. You can.

Pulled pork is one of the simplest foods you'll ever make and it's a serious crowd pleaser.

So what do you need to make this dish, that appears so delicately made like you spent hours hovering over a hot stove to bring to your family? A slow cooker.

Found in the wilderness of Target and Macy's...
But can be easily shipped to your home via Amazon.
Slow cookers are god's gift to the busy (*cough* lazy *cough*) lifestyle. Your own personal & professional head chef. Your best friend who sits over the hot stove for you. The greatest magic of the slow cooker, is that you barely need to chop anything, you throw it in a pot in the morning and turn it on, then when you get home from work, you open the front door and -- IT SMELLS LIKE DINNER.

Now, to be clear, the recipe I have here is for all-around pulled pork. Once you cook the shoulder/butt (it's the same thing), *don't* mix it all with bottles of BBQ and murder it. That is what bad pulled pork is for.

This good pulled pork can be re-used for carnitas tacos, on pizza with roasted garlic, added to grilled cheese (white sharp cheddar -- you barbarian), on nachos', fried rice, a breakfast hash - It has endless possibilities. Make. Leftovers. A lot of them. You will thank yourself (and me!) when you have options the rest of the week. Or freeze half. In two weeks you'll want it again, if you can hold off that long.

Trust me.

My favorite, however, is the pulled pork sandwich. So here I have a recipe for you, and then a speedy recipe for a cole slaw. You *could* purchase cole slaw at a store, but then it's like 85% mayonnaise. I like mine a bit more balanced than that.

First, buy a good pork shoulder roast (some stores call it pork butt). They vary in size, so if it's small and you are *certain* it will fit in your slow cooker, buy two. You won't regret it.


Pulled Pork
  • Pork shoulder roast. 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Half a jar of BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 TBSP Garlic powder
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of water/chicken brother OR a can of Coke/Dr. Pepper (If you're feeling crazy)
  • Hawaiian buns (or any soft bread, hamburger buns work as well)

Cole Slaw
  • Red cabbage, shredded (About 6 cups, and you can use white cabbage, but purple is pretty)
  • 1/4 of a small onion, grated
  • Carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Or white/red wine vinegar)
  • 1 cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • S&P to taste

Basic Instructions

Pulled Pork

  1. Pile in order in slow cooker: Onion, carrot, pork.
  2. On top of meat add: garlic powder, hot sauce & pepper, then top with the BBQ sauce. If you're using a soda, add it now.
  3. Cover and place and LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 6 hours. DO NOT LIFT TOP.
  4. Turn off slow cooker.
  5. Using tongs, retrieve pork and place on a cutting board, then use the two forks to pull apart the extremely soft pork.
  6. Pile into a large bowl, and add a 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid so it stays moist.
Cole Slaw

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. If it's too sweet, add vinegar
  3. Too bitter, add sugar.
  4. Too much mayo, add vinegar, etc.
  5. That's it. Make it to your taste.
Now pile that meat on the bun, douse with bbq sauce and top with the cole slaw.  

I eat this with a plate piled with more cole slaw, but you can also steam some veggies or have potato chips, or baked potatoes. Easy-peasy.
All my love,

*I'm fairly certain everyone reading this lives in colder weather than myself, but I am a big baby.