Monday, February 3, 2014

Day One - Pulled Pork (2.2.14)






Ingredients

  • 1 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup root beer
  • 2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired, you can cut back on the pepper by only using ½ teaspoon of cayenne)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
  • Barbecue sauce (optional)

Instructions
  1. Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth and the root beer. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the mustard, honey, vinegar and olive to the bowl and mix until you have a nice even paste. Place the meat on top of the onions and garlic in the cooker and pour the paste over the meat covering evenly (it's okay if you pour some into the onion/garlic mixture). Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 4 to 6 hours on high or 7 to 9 hours on low.
  2. Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and set the strained liquid aside. (You can put the strained solids back into the slower cooker if you like but Katie and I did not do this for our meal).
  3. If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened.
  4. Serve on buns of your choice. At this time feel free to add some barbecue sauce over the top (though with this recipe it is not needed). Katie and I used Sweet Baby Rays Original which was perfect.
Our side was Carrot Fries. If you'd like the recipe for that let us know and we'll post it in the comments.

Opinions

Potter: This was, hands down, the best pulled pork I have ever had. And I am not just saying that because it was my own recipe. The blend of flavors in every bite was amazing and it had a perfect balance of sweet and spicy (not my normal spicy for those of you who have had my cooking before). This dish serves roughy 8 so if you're having people over give it a try. If you're not having people over try it anyway, it's just as good leftover (I discovered at lunch... and snack-time, today). 

Katie: This recipe was amazing and I agree with Potter that it is the best I have ever had. I commented multiple times while eating that I just loved the mix of sweet and spicy. The great thing too is that this is that great pulled pork where you can enjoy on a sandwich, with or without BBQ sauce, and also just on its own and it is just as good!

We both said, about the same time while we were eating this, that we were a little sad we started this expedition with such a great dish because there are going to be roughly 362-364 disappointments to follow.