Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Music Music Music Summer is fast approaching and if your schedule is as hectic as mine, you’re constantly wondering what’s for dinner. Hi, I’m Julie Gardner with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and today I’m here at the Community Wellness Center at the Baylor Scott and White Urgent Care Clinic at Killeen, Texas. I have a great recipe today that is guaranteed to be a hit with the entire family. Today we’re going to prepare Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. But first, let’s talk about our piece of equipment that we’ll be using. One of my favorite pieces of equipment, the slow cooker. The main reason I like it is you can prepare your food ahead of time, put it on in the morning before you go to work, and when you get home in the evening, you have a meal already prepared. But there are a couple of things that we want to talk about when using the slow cooker. Many of today’s websites and current cookbooks will talk about how you can directly put frozen roasts and frozen chicken into a slow cooker and begin the cooking process. However, we recommend against that. We want you to make sure that all of your meats are defrosted before you begin the cooking process. The second thing we want to talk about is leaving the lid on things, literally. As much as we may want to peek in and take a look at what’s cooking, we really need to leave the lid on the slow cooker the entire cooking process. Why? Well, each time we raise the lid, that adds about 20 or 30 minutes to the cooking time. So, let’s leave the lid on. Now, let’s start with our recipe and talk about what we’re going to be preparing today. We’re going to start with one large sweet onion. And I thinly sliced that. And we’re to place that directly into the slow cooker. Vegetables have a tendency to cook slower than other foods, so you want to make sure that those are at the bottom. And then we’re going to prepare our pork roast. Now, you can use a pork roast or a pork loin. You can even use pork chops if you have those on hand. And we’ve simply made a dry rub. I’ve taken 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and to that I’ve added a teaspoon of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and I am just going to rub this directly on to my pork roast on both sides. And one thing I will tell you is that I’ve tried to trim up as much fat as I could off this. Sometimes you can buy them pretty lean, but other times, you may have to trim the fat. And of course, when you trim fat, you’re trimming calories as well. So that’s a always a good thing to do. We’re going to put our roast directly on top of our onions in our slow cooker. And then we’re going to move to what I call a drizzle that we’ll use for the entire recipe both before, during, and afterwards. And it’s a drizzle that’s basically easy to make with ingredients that you’re going to more than likely have on hand in your cabinet. We’re going to start with 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, and to that we’re going to add 4 teaspoons of Worchestershire sauce. And then we’re going to add some dry ingredients. Now this mixture, we’ve added the brown sugar on the roast, so this mixture is going to add a little flavor and a little spice to the dish. We’re going to add some red pepper flakes, about a teaspoon and a half, or to your preference. About a teaspoon of sugar, teaspoon-teaspoon and a half. And then we’re going to add some dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard. If you don’t have dried mustard on hand, you could actually use liquid mustard as well if you had that instead. And then, we’re going to add some garlic powder, about 1/2 teaspoon there. And then, finally, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Really going to kick the flavor up. Now if you really like it spicier than that, you can add even more. We’re going to do a simple whisk. Get that all blended up and those great flavors. And then, what we’re going to do next is we’re going to take this and drizzle, basically, about one-third of it over the top of our pork roast. Drizzle that in. We don’t want to put it all in because we’re going to reserve some of that for the end of the cooking process. We want to put our lid on our slow cooker, and we’re going to cook this 10 to 12 hours on low heat. Now, the reason that we’re reserving our remaining drizzle in the refrigerator, of course, is that about 30 minutes prior to the cooking process being complete, we want to remove the lid and put about one-third more of the mixture on top of the roast, return the lid, finish cooking, and then the remaining one-third we want to save to use on our finished product. Now, one thing I love about this recipe is it’s very versatile, you can do lots of things with it. Our finished product today is actually a pulled pork taco. I paired it with a great fresh green salad and some great fresh fruit. But, if I didn’t have tacos, or if I didn’t want tacos even, I could use the pulled pork to make a pulled-pork sandwich. I could even use it for a pulled-pork quesadilla possibly. Lots of versatility. Which is great when you have a family. That way you’re making sure that everyone is enjoying the meal. The next time you’re looking for a great recipe for dinner, I hope you’ll remember Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, a proud partner with Baylor Scott and White Urgent Care Clinic in Killeen, Texas.