Sunday, March 27, 2011

Leah's Sweet & Tangy Pulled Pork

I know this violates the tenets of the Carolinas in regards to the vinegar versus sweet sauce debate, but personally I like mixing the two styles to create an intense flavor.  I serve this on tiny Hawaiian sweet rolls that you can find at your local grocery store.

1 pork shoulder or Boston Butt pork roast, 5-6 lbs
4-5 cups ketchup
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar (or plain vinegar if you can't find the cider one)
1/2 cup liquid smoke
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk sauce together in a large bowl until ingredients are combined, feel free to adjust the ingredients for flavor (smoke, sweet, sour, all are components here).

Place roast in a slow cooker.  Pour about 1/3 to 1/2 the sauce over the roast, just enough so that it has a sauce to cook in, and reserve the rest.  Cook the roast at low for 6-7 hours, or on high for about 5-6 hours, until the pork shreds easily (these times are not exact and will depend on the roast and/or your crockpot).

When the roast is ready to shred, pour off the sauce (which will be relatively greasy) and discard.  Place roast on cutting board for about 5-10 minutes, until cool enough to handle.  At this time, if desired, toast Hawaiian buns either in the oven or the toaster (they will hold up to the sauce better if slightly toasted).

Once the roast has cooled slightly, use a knife to cut it into several large pieces.  It should fall apart very easily, if it does not, it may need more time.  This is where it gets messy!  I've learned from years of practice that shredding the roast is easiest when done by hand (thus the term, pulled pork!).  Using your hands, pull the meat apart, discarding any strips or bits of fat that are attached to the meat.  Place the shredded pork back in the crockpot.

When you have shredded all of the pork, pour the reserved sauce over it, then mix and serve!

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