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Archive for the ‘Slow Cooker’ Category

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

I pulled out the slow cooker once again.  I think its the best way to make a meal with a big ‘wow-factor’ with the least effort.  I’ve fallen hard for my slow cooker.  Since I’ve discovered the wonders of slow cooking, my new favorite food is probably any meat that has cooked for 8 hours and has the ability to melt on your tongue.   It is truly amazing how a cheap cut of meat can turn into the most mouth watering treat when you let it cook for 8 hours at low heat with a bit of seasoning.

I started the pork last night, letting it sit coated in the dry spice rub overnight.  I know its not exactly in the tradition of K.C. bbq (which is more sauce-based), but I really like the flavor of meats cooked with dry rub.  I found a recipe for a spice rub mix, originally published in Cook’s Illustrated.  I of course made my own alterations to it.  Here’s what I ended up with.

BBQ Dry Rub Mix, enough for a 3-4lb pork shoulder

1 Tbsp Chili Powder (medium hot)
2 Tbsp Sweet Paprika
1/2 Tbsp ground Corriander
1/2 Tbsp ground Cumin
1/2 Tbsp ground White Pepper
1/2 Tbsp dried Oregano
1 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Allspice
2 tsp Granulated Garlic
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp White Sugar

Combine everything in a gallon sized ziploc.  Once the spices are mixed, add the pork roast to the bag and either using your hands or smooshing it around in the bag, thoroughly coat the pork with the rub.  Let it sit in your fridge overnight.  Yes, you must plan ahead for this one.  But oh, is it worth it!

Spice Rub

Spice Rub

There's a roast in there, I swear

There's a roast in there, I swear

The next morning, transfer the roast to a 5-6qt slow cooker.  I cut mine into a couple of big hunks, but this probably wasn’t necessary.  Add 1/4 cup water to get the juices going and cook on low for about 8 hours.  When time’s close to being up, give it a poke with a fork.  If it disintegrates under slight pressure from a fork – its done!  The pork should be absolutely falling apart.

Cooked Pork

Cooked Pork

Transfer it to a bowl or a plate and commense shredding.  Remove any big hunks of fat (duh).  I added back about 1/2 cup of the juice from the crock pot.  It added moisture and a lot of flavor to the meat.

Shredded Pork

Shredded Pork

The shredded pork is wonderful eaten on its own or simply on hamburger buns, which is how we enjoyed it tonight.  I also made potato salad for the side (straight from Betty Crocker, tried and true).

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

And for full disclosure, I also made a chocolate cake tonight.  The decadence of it all.  It was a very belated birthday cake for my husband.  He requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  With all of the other food I was preparing today, I asked him if it’d be OK for me to use a box mix.  He said – of course.  I then asked if I could use store bought frosting.  Once again – fine.  So I went to the store to buy the box mix and frosting.  However, when I picked up the frosting and checked out the (scary) nutrition label, I noticed that it actually still had trans-fats. A lot of trans-fat.  Can you believe that?  I just couldn’t bring myself to make a cake for my husband that was chalk-full of trans-fats.  So I bought the box mix and made chocolate buttercream frosting from scratch.  Delicious.

For the Pulled Pork:
Prep Ranking: #3 – Slow Cook, Minimal Effort
Tastiness Grade: 10/10 – I could eat this all day long

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