Wednesday, January 12, 2011

.things you should probably not eat in bed.

I'm pretty sure at the top of that list is pulled pork sandwiches smothered in Carolina style BBQ sauce.  Especially if you have a white comforter like I do.  But I'm doing it anyway.  Why?  Well the living room is up a very narrow flight of stairs that isn't always easy to maneuver with a plate in hand.  Also, my electric blanket is not upstairs, and it becomes cumbersome to take electric blanket and plate of food upstairs.  And then, oh wait, where is the remote?  Exactly.  I knew you'd understand.  This is why pulled pork is being consumed sitting up in bed.
This is comfort food at its best - tangy, spicy, meaty (porky?).  On a pillowy soft roll.  Now I will admit to not producing the roll rather than procuring it.  But anyway the pork.  Mind bogglingly good.  I haven't been this proud of something to come out of my kitchen in quite some time (although my jam cookies were a big hit, but my Mom made them first).  To make it all that much more cozy I have spent the majority of the day in bed while it is blizzarding outside.  Seriously.  There is probably about a foot of snow on the ground.  I started the pork around 9:30 this morning which was completely by chance.  Knowing me, I probably wouldn't have done it until around noon, but I'm glad I started it early because it really got a good chance to break down.  I owe my early morning to a text message from a good friend of mine checking in on me after promising fourth date last night.  Suffice it to say things are going very well with him, at least from my perspective.  Anyway, back to the pork and all the porky deliciousness that sits before me and permeates the kitchen here.

Spicy, Tangy Crock Pot Carolina Pulled Pork

1 boneless pork butt, 3-5lbs.
1/2 T mustard powder
1/2 T salt
1/2 T Worcestershire pepper
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T red pepper flakes
1/2 T chili powder
4 T brown sugar
2 T hot sauce of choice (I like Frank's buffalo sauce)
5 T bbq sauce of choice (I like Jack Daniel's Spicy Original)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients, dry and wet, together in a bowl with a wire whisk to create your Carolina bbq sauce.
Place pork butt into slow cooker and pour sauce mixture over it.
Set slow cooker to low to be ready in about 8 hours.  Set slow cooker to high to be ready in 4 to 5 hours.

Note: I did flip the pork half way through cooking.

After it is cooked all the way through, remove the pork and leave the liquid in the slow cooker.  Using two forks remove any fat and shred the pork.  This should happen fairly easily.  Replace the shredded pork into the cooking liquid for another half hour to an hour.  The pork is then ready to serve at any time or can be kept warm as long as necessary.

There are many variations to this recipe - some call for rubbing the pork with a dry rub first and marinading it with the dry rub for several hours before placing in the slow cooker.  Some call for searing the pork before placing it in the slow cooker.  Some create a more BBQ/tomato heavy sauce.  Personally I LOVE the tang of good Carolina BBQ and am not so much a fan of BBQ sauce/flavor in general (I seriously dislike BBQ chips).  Also, I wanted something that wasn't labor intensive and could be repeated quickly and easily on mornings that I'm running out to work and don't have time to rub and wrap a roast.  However, these are my personal preferences; there are many ways to make pulled pork - this just happens to be the one that floats my boat.

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