Slow Cooker Sunday: Pulled Pork

This is how my family makes Pulled Pork.  This recipee makes a lot of food. I like to freeze what I know we won’t eat for the day so I can defrost it for another night when I know I won’t have time to cook.

This recipee for Pulled Pork is originally taken from Williams-Sonoma.com but has been edited to suit my family’s taste. To make the recipee from the Williams Sonoma site click here.  My version follows below.

Ingredients and Equipment:
Large Oval Slow Cooker
Large Dutch Oven
2-3 Tbsp olive oil (enough to cover bottom of Dutch Oven)
5 lb. boneless pork butt or shoulder (I prefer butt- trimmed of excess fat, cut into 2 or 3 pieces as it is easier to brown this way)
2 yellow onions, sliced finely or chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup tomato ketchup
2 Tbsp honey
1 tps garlic minced (about 2 cloves)
1-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-1/2 Tbsp Worstechire Sauce
1/3 cup Grandma’s Unsulfured Molasses
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar but you can substitute light)
2 tsp mustard (I like Dijon)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 to 10 hamburger buns

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix mustard, ketchup, honey, garlic, Worstershire Sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Over medium-high heat, in a large dutch oven, heat the oil – just enough to cover the bottom of the pot and two pats of butter. Place the pork butt in the pot and brown on all sides. Take the meat out of pot and place it into the slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the pot and cook until caramelized and golden. Deglaze the pot with the apple cider vinegar then add the ketchup mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring occassionally, then pour over the pork in the slow cooker.

(Note- you can skip all of the above steps and just put the pork in the slow cooker with the onion, and mixing the vinegar with the other ingredients for teh sauce and pouring them over the pork, but I find browning any meat I plan on cooking in the slow cooker and deglazing the pan helps develop the flavors more. It takes a few extra minutes, but I won’t skip this step as I think it makes all the difference)

Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on the low heat setting or 4-6 hours on the high heat setting.

Transfer the pork to a large cutting board and, using two large forks, shred the meat. Discard any fat. Put the meat back in the slow cooker and mix with the sauce.

Enjoy your Pulled Pork on the hamburger buns. We like to eat ours with cole slaw on the side.

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Slow Cooker Sunday- Italian Tomato Sauce

Learn to Make This Simple Sauce and Never Have to Buy Sauce From A Jar Again

When I was getting married, my mother in law, who immigrated from Italy, passed the family recipee for homemade Sunday tomato sauce to me . Of course, she never used a slow cooker but standing in the oven for hours to cook the sauce was hard, especially with young children. So, I decided to adapt the recipee for use in the slow cooker. I hope you will enjoy it as much as my family does.

Ingredients and Equipment:
6-1/2 Quart capacity Slow Cooker.
4 Cans Crushed Tomatoes 28oz each. (I use Tuttorosso New World Style Crushed Tomatoes with basil)
5 to 6 Sweet Italian Sausages*
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp Chopped Basil (I use the kind you get in a jar but you can use dried or fresh. if using dried you may need to adjust down the amount you use)

*Instead of sausage, my mother in law uses the following combination of meat in her sauce: 1 pound of Pork Ribs and 3/4 pound Brasciole. She takes the brasciole meat and spreads some minced garlic over it, black pepper , grated pecorino cheese, olive oil and a bit of parsley over the meat and then rolls it all up and secures it with toothpicks.

*You can also put chopped ground beef into the sauce instead of sausage, and when you are done, you will have a Bolognese (or meat) sauce. This is a good alternative if all you have is ground beef and not sausage in your house, or, if you don’t like sausage.

Directions:
In a 6 1-2 Quart Slow Cooker, combine 4 cans crushed tomatoes, sausage, oil, garlic and basil. Give the ingredients a little stir to mix.

Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Notes:
You will make a lot of sauce. It is enough for me to make 2 trays of lasagna. I use the sausage in one and keep the other plain. I use one tray right away and put the other in the freezer to take out another time. However, if you just want to put the sauce on pasta you can do that too. You might want to freeze some of the sauce in easy to defrost amounts- so you can defros one over night and have it the next day to use for a meal.

We tend to make our sauce on Sunday and enjoy the same day but you could make the sauce in the morning before you go to work and come home to a meal that is practically made. All you would have to do is boil pasta.