What’s not to love about pulled pork? Well, for one thing, the fat. I use lean pork loin roast, most recipes call for pork shoulder. In addition to the lean meat, you don’t have to work around all kinds of bones, grizzle, and large pieces of fat. It makes for much quicker and healthier preparation.
If you’re entertaining a crowd, like most of us do in the summer, make this ahead and serve it warm in a crock pot. If you have guests arriving at different times, say for a graduation party or open house, food will remain hot for every guest. Serve with small rolls that are easy to eat and can withstand the juicy meat and slaw. You do not want to use hard rolls as the filling would “squish” out when you bite into them.
The pork is sweet and spicy so I love to pair it with a simple red cabbage salad with slight acidity, it’s a great flavor combination.
The thing I love most about it is not having to cook while you have guests. Sooooo simple!
Classic Pulled Pork Sandwiches
In the Slow Cooker
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 lbs. pork loin roast, cut in half
1 cup cider vinegar
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup dark molasses
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 1 tablespoon regular yellow
2 teaspoons granulated onion powder
2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1) Turn slow cooker on low. Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Preheat large skillet over medium high heat and brown pork roast on all sides. Place meat in slow cooker.
2) Deglaze pan with a little water. Add all ingredients to the pan, mix well and bring to a bubble. Pour over meat and cover. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. Meat should be very tender.
3) Remove meat from cooker, set aside. Skim as much fat as possible from the top of the sauce. (There will be very little) Using two forks, shred pork and add back to sauce. Serve over soft mini buns. 1 1/4 lbs. of cooked pulled pork will easily feed a family of four. Freeze leftovers for another hot busy day!
For the simple red cabbage slaw:
1 head of red cabbage
salt & pepper
Core the cabbage and very thinly slice. Place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cabbage. Sprinkle two pinches of kosher salt and pepper over cabbage. Gently toss to coat. Drizzle one tablespoon over cabbage, toss. Taste. Add more seasoning if necessary. Serve alongside the sandwiches.
*The reason for putting warm ingredients into the slow cooker is that time won’t be wasted in the crock pot getting up to cooking temperature.
**If you’ve made the pork ahead, warm in microwave before putting intot he crock pot. The crock pot is more for holding warm food,not for actual re warming.