Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwich in Crock Pot

This is an oldie but a goodie from my first months of blogging. This is my number 1 requested recipe and probably the easiest too!

It only takes 3 ingredients and a crock pot to make this finger lickin' favorite!

First you want to purchase a 3-4 pound pork roast. The best cuts for "pulling" are pork butt or pork shoulder. These turn into very tender meat after braising [cooking a long time].

Here is a look at my cut for this batch it is a 3.5 pound pork butt roast.


* A note on fat in meats. For most beef cuts, large slices of fat are easily visible and able to be cut off before cooking. In these pork roasts you will find more of a marbled fat content. This gives flavor, but you can remove most of it after it is cooked.

Place your meat in the crock pot after rinsing under cool water. 

Then pour in 2.5 cups of root beer. Root beer you say?! The root beer acts as a tenderizing agent. You aren't really getting the taste of the root beer. On that same note, 2.5 cups is a 20 oz bottle of root beer or if you are cheap like me, you can buy a 2 liter knock off brand for $.99 and use it for several batches. The carbonation is not important, merely the sweet soda. 

If you buy a larger roast, add more root beer.
You want your roast to be about half covered in the liquid. 
Too much won't hurt it but too little will make it dry out. 
Err on the side of too much.

Cover the roast and let it cook on low at least 6 hours. It could go up to 8 but keep an eye on it. If you are home, every few hours pour some of the liquid on the meat. If you aren't don't worry about it-it will be fine!

To show you the desired color/flavor of the meat here is mine before cooking, part way and when I took it out the first time after 7 hours. You want that pretty caramelization and a slighty crunch around the edges to the meat.


Remove the meat from the crock pot and discard the root beer. I then place my meat back in the crock pot and begin tearing large chunks off. Be sure to use tongs and knife or fork as the meat will be very hot.

I use a cutting board and 2 bowls: one for the good meat and one for the fat to be discarded. 

 First of all, look at the gorgeous color on that meat! Can you tell how tender it is from the picture? If you eat a piece now it will be tender and juicy but not have much flavor.

Inspect major chunks for fat pieces and you also want to be "pulling" the meat apart into manageable pieces for eating.
 Can you tell the difference between the larger harder pieces of good meat and the soft fatty meat?

I usually get a big bowl of meat and a half smaller bowl of fat. Depends on how picky you are about getting the fat out. If my husband does it he would take out even less fat because he is lazy!

Finally throw all the good meat back in the crock pot with 3/4 jar/bottle of barbeque sauce. I love Sweet Baby Ray's Original  [available at grocery stores and Costco] but whatever your favorite is will work!! Sweet Baby Ray's 28 oz won't make me worry that I will run out of sauce or having 2 bottles of the 18 oz.

**Note: I recommend having a full unopened bottle on hand for this meal. If you have a half bottle hanging out in your fridge it won't be enough liquid for it to be moist. Make sure you have a full bottle! 


Mix up the meat with the sauce and then put it back on low for an additional hour. This hour will make the meat hot and bubbly with the sauce on it. 

 mmmmmmm

Save the 1/4 bottle for right before serving if the meat isn't moist enough and I still usually add more to my individual sandwich. 

So if you put your meat on in the morning before work, came home after dinner and pulled the meat  you could then prepare the rest of your meal while the meat is simmering with the BBQ sauce. 

So that's it! I did lots of details and pictures so there is no confusion but this is honestly super easy and everyone loves it!

I serve mine on kaiser rolls but you could do dinner rolls or even just on its own. This is great for anytime of year! Serve with corn on the cob or potato/pasta or a green salad. 

And yes, you can make this for a big group with a bigger roast or even 2 of the smaller-just cut them up in smaller chunks so they fit in the crock pot and add more Root Beer.


Pulled Pork Sandwich with BBQ Sauce
The Apron Gal

Serves 4

Ingredients
3-4 lb pork shoulder/butt/chuck roast
2 liter root beer
full bottle of barbeque sauce: recommended :28 oz Sweet Baby Ray's Original

Directions

Wash meat in cold water. Place in crock pot with 2.5 cups root beer or until meat is half way covered. Cook on low 6-7 hours or until meat is brown and caramelized [see photos]. 

Remove meat from crock pot and discard root beer. Pull apart meat with tongs and knive or hands if meat has cooled. Remove fat from meat. 

Place pulled meat back in crock pot with 3/4 bottle of barbeque sauce and simmer on low for 1 additional hour. Add additional barbeque sauce if desired. 

Serve on kaiser rolls. 

Enjoy!!


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