Tasty Tuesday: Pulled Pork BBQ from the Slow Cooker
If you're like my family, you are probably getting impatient for the nice weather of Summer. The tail end of Winter is so frustrating sometimes. Something I like to do is make one of my summer recipes so that we can for a moment fool ourselves into saying it is sunny and warm. The recipe today is actually very easy. The hardest part is waiting when the whole house smells just delicious. I like to serve this with hamburger rolls. It is also really good on macaroni and cheese. (Even the inexpensive stuff out of the box is made better with this piled on top of it. Forget ketchup, you've got fresh made bbq!). The leftovers freeze well. They also are amazing on pizza. (I'll give you that recipe next week!)
I use a small loin roast for this. If you have a large group to feed, though, it also works really well for a picnic shoulder roast as well. It doesn't matter how fatty the roast is flavor wise. But, if you go with a roast that is on the lower side of fat content, your end result is less greasy. Also, as odd as this may sound, if you use the cheapest bbq sauce you can find, it actually works out really well. I think it has something to do with the long, slow cooking time over low heat helping the flavors melt together.
A 3 lb loin roast can be popped into your slow cooker in the morning and ready come dinner time when you get home from work. It usually turns out to be enough for my family of 4 and still have a good amount left over for other stuff. I like to use those slow cooker bags that you can get in the section of the store where they sell aluminum foil. My slow cooker is somewhat scratched up on the inside and those slow cooker bags work really well to keep things from getting stuck to the crock. It also makes clean up SO much easier. If you are putting your roast in in the morning, cook it on low to medium heat for 6 - 8 hours. If you are doing it on high heat, cut your cook time down to 4 - 5 hours. Like with any slow cooker recipe, keep the lid on the whole time unless otherwise noted.
A larger roast is going to be best cooked on medium heat for 6 - 8 hours. On high heat, you'll want to cook it for closer to 5 hours. The bbq sauce, if you are using one from a bottle or a jar, needs to cover the whole roast when you put it in. I like to just dump it on top and then turn the roast over to coat all sides before I put the lid on and start it cooking. If you are using a homemade bbq sauce, you may want to make it a little thicker than usual. As the roast cooks, the moisture is going to get trapped int the slow cooker and it will thin it out as it cooks. Before you serve the roast, regardless of size or how you seasoned it, you are going to want to shred it with a pair of forks. I find it easiest to shred it in the cooker. If you are using one of those slow cooker bags, you may want to be careful not to prick the bag. You may want to transfer it to a plate.
Here's my homemade bbq sauce. I got this from my Mom and then I added to it. It was one of the first things I made on my own. So, if you have a child interested in helping you cook, this is a great way to introduce them to it.
Quick BBQ Sauce
2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced and roasted until golden and fragrant
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/8th teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Combine all ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep in a jar. Lasts for about 1 week refrigerated. If you want to speed things up a bit, combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Cover it with something to prevent splatters. Cook 3 minutes on high, stir completely, and then cook again for 3 minutes on high. Stir completely, cool, and then use as you wish.
I hope you have a lovely Tuesday evening.