When the weather is nice outside, I love to use my backyard smoker to smoke pork, chicken and beef for barbeque.
Now that Chicago’s warm weather is going into hibernation until next Spring, I need to find another way to satisfy my barbeque craving. The solution? Crock pot BBQ pulled pork.
This recipe is great because it makes its own barbeque sauce in the crock pot as the pork slowly cooks. All day long, the juices from the pork combine with the ingredients of the sauce. The result is a pot of sweet and tangy heaven.
There is a debate about whether these sandwiches should be served with or without dill pickle slices on them. I don’t know where this tradition started, but I usually include the pickles because the vinegar in the pickles is effective at cutting the fat from the pork. But I happily will serve them on the side or leave them off altogether if anyone requests it.
In the same vein, this kind of tangy barbeque really needs to be served with some sort of slaw — cabbage, fennel or another kind. Not only does the vinegar help enhance the flavor of the pork, but the contrast between the cold slaw and the piping hot pulled pork is delicious.
So until Chicago weather allows me to fire up my smoker again — and it’s not looking like that will be anytime soon — I’m happy to hunker down with this easy-to-make crock pot classic.
Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
2 TBS chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 to 2 lb bone-in pork loin or pork shoulder
3 tsp EVOO
2 large white onions, sliced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1. Put cast iron pan on fire. Combine chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl and mix well. Roll pork in spice mixture so that all sides are covered. When pan is hot, add 1 TBS EVOO. When smoking, add pork, turning frequently so all sides are browned evenly. Place pork in crock pot to wait.
2. Return pan to fire. When hot, add 1 TBS EVOO. When smoking, add onions and cook until carmelized, about 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl stir together the ketchup, chili sauce, molasses, coffee, hot sauce and remaining spice mixture. When onions are nice and brown, pour sauce over onions, reduce heat and cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently so the sugars don’t burn.
3. Pour onion and sauce mixture over pork. Set the crock pot timer for 8 hours and the temperature on low. Cover and forget about it until its ready. After about six hours, you can easily pull the pork apart with two forks, or you can just wait untli the end. Remove any bones before serving.
To serve, use a tongs to pile shredded pork on whole wheat burger bun. Top with dill pickle slices and serve with any sort of slaw.
Do you have any summer favorites that you crave during the winter? Tell how you satisfy your craving in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!