Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich (and way more!)
It’s done. Call off the search. This is what you’re making for dinner this weekend. Hey, don’t get all “thanks-a-lot-but-what-about-tonight-because-I-forgot-to-take-something-out-of-the-freezer-and-I’m-about-to-throw-in-the-towel.” Go right ahead and throw that sucker in and make breakfast for dinner or, better yet, order-in because next week you’re set. That’s right. Not only am I giving you a pulled pork recipe but I’m going to follow it up with two other kick-butt dishes that use the leftovers. And, oh yes, there will be leftovers. Lots of them.
If you don’t want to, you don’t have to wait until the weekend but that’s what I did when I was creating this recipe–Every Saturday for two months we ate pulled pork. And then we ate it again, and again, and again. It was fun though because I had a dinner party almost each time I tested it so the long winter weekends of January and February flew by. Plus it was taste tested by more than 12 kids (only 1 wouldn’t eat it) and 10 adults (every one of them had seconds). And if that wasn’t enough, Ceri had great success with it at her own dinner party. So you really can’t afford to not try this recipe, unless you are vegetarian or despise pork. Then you hate this recipe. But you’ll like the others because, while each use the leftover pork, you can easily omit it; then it’s vegetarian goodness all the way. Is this a tease? ok, fine, I’ll tell the you recipes. One dish is for a Mexican-inspired pulled pork bowl full of brown rice, black bean and corn salsa and fresh avocado while the other is a quesadilla with roasted sweet potato, caramelized onions and cheese. Are you in?
Photography by Maya Visnyei
- Makes 8 – 10 servings
- Prep time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
- 1 3 to 4lb. boneless pork shoulder blade roast, trimmed of excess fat
- ¼ cup (60 ml) brown sugar
- 4 tsp (20 ml) salt
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp (10 ml) dried mustard powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
- 1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2 ml) cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) tomato paste
- 6 brioche buns
In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of brown sugar, salt, chili powder, dried mustard powder, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the pork and cook, turning until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
Be careful and watch your meat as well as the heat because the sugar in the rub can easily burn. Remove the pork from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
Add 3/4 cup (185 ml) water to the skillet and whisk into the drippings.
Transfer the liquid from the de-glazed pan into your slow cooker.
Add the vinegar, juice, tomato paste and remaining 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of brown sugar to the slow cooker and whisk.
Add the pork and cover, cook on low for 8 hours.
Depending on the size of your slow cooker, if the liquid does not fully cover your shoulder (as is the case with mine) you'll need to turn it half way through the cooking process so the other side benefits from the juice pool in the cooker.
Remove the pork and transfer to a cutting board.
Strain the liquid into a Dutch oven over low heat to keep it warm.
Shred the pork, using two forks, into bite-size pieces or roughly chop.
Add the shredded meat to the Dutch oven and combine with sauce.
Taste and season with salt. Remove Dutch oven from heat and serve.
Come back this weekend for my recipes that utilize the pork leftovers to create two fast and seriously delicious meals.
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