Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Crock Pot Meal of the Fall Semester!

Fall semester is officially underway, and the weather has swung back to summery and sticky. Thus, I turned to my trusty crock pot to cook dinner for me while I was at work, and as a bonus, I didn't have to heat up the kitchen to prepare a meal when I got home. Someone recently posted this recipe on Facebook (sorry, but it did not include the source), and it's FANTASTIC! I made this with Coke, since I had some left over from the Coca-Cola cake, but you can use Dr Pepper, Coke, or root beer. And by the time I got home, I just had to shred and sauce the pork, toast some rolls, and throw together a quick cole slaw while the meat finished cooking. PULLED PORK--ON A WEEKNIGHT!

Dr Pepper Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

1 large onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced
3-4 lb pork butt (aka pork SHOULDER--I used bone-in, DO NOT substitute a loin roast!)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (or 4!)
1 1/2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
24 oz. (2 cans) Dr Pepper (or Classic Coke or root beer)
barbecue sauce of choice (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)

Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork butt on top of the onions and add the garlic, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the Dr. Pepper on top and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. (Mine took about seven hours on HIGH, maybe because I used a bone-in roast. Anyhoo, keep going until it's fork-tender. Also, if you are around, you might want to flip the roast about halfway through the cooking time.)
Very carefully, because the pork will be hot, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a large cutting board. Remove bones if there are any and excess fat. Using two forks, shred the pork by pulling away from each other. The meat should be very tender by this point. Place the shredded pork back into the slow cooker and continue to cook for an additional hour (on high).

Drain the remaining juices and toss the meat and onion mixture in the barbecue sauce of choice. Just add a bit at a time until you get to your desired level of sauciness. I also added a couple of big squeezes of yellow mustard, because I am all about mustard! Serve on toasted Kaiser rolls with a mound of cole slaw on top.

For the cole slaw: I used a bag of cole slaw mix (1lb.), maybe a scant cup of Miracle Whip thinned with about three tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and seasoned with about 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon or so of ground celery. That's it! SO DELICIOUS, and we are exclusively a Team Mayo household. I probably buy Miracle Whip once every five years, if that. But it made a nicely thick, sweet dressing that didn't break down and become watery by the next day.

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