Dinner with Kirsten

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Slow Cooker Success: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

December 19th, 2008 · 62 Comments

pulled pork

Years ago, as an undergraduate, my roommates and I threw many a meal into the crock-pot before classes. Then we would returned home to succulent scents of dinner, ready and waiting. I loved it!

When I bought a new New York crock-pot, I couldn’t wait to show off the magical wonder of slow-cooker dinners to Geoff. So, imagine my surprise when everything I put into the machine came out tasting weird, over-done and generally bad. Geoff stoically ate it all, but his protests when I proposed a crock-pot night grew louder and more explicit.

I figured out that I was just cooking the food for too long. I used to have a 10:00 class and be home by 3:30 or 4:00. Now, with a real job, a commute and a semi-regular habit of stopping at the gym, I’m out of the apartment for 11 to 12 hours almost every day. Even on “low,” a pot roast is frazzled after hanging out in a slow cooker for 12 hours. And forget the vegetables! I think it was the onions that were taking on a weird, almost metallic, taste.

Despite Geoff’s protests, I dug the crock-pot out from it’s summer hiding spot this morning. I decided to try just meat and no veggies. I wanted a large piece, that would normally take a while to cook, so I chose pork roast. I used a pork loin roast from TJ’s (because I was there and that’s what they had), but I was really looking for a cheaper cut of pork, like shoulder or pork butt. I think these would work just as well.pulled pork with coleslaw

I found a slew of recipes for slow-cooker pulled pork made with root beer, so I decided to try it. Lots of recipes added this and that, but I went with the simplest option – pork roast, root beer, cook for 8 to 10 (or, I hoped more like 11 to 12) hours.

And I’m happy to report that it turned out great! Geoff at three sandwiches (in the same time it took me to eat one), and he didn’t look up from his plate once to complain about eating crock pot food.

Super Simple Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

1 (2-3 pound) pork roast (loin, shoulder, butt – cheaper cuts are fine because the long cooking time tenderizes the meat)
1 1/2 cups root beer

In the morning, put the roast into the cooker sleeve along with the root beer. Cover and set the temperature of the slow-cooker to “Low.” Let cook for 8 to 10 hours (I ended up leaving mine for about 10 1/2 hours).

When it’s ready, strain the pork roast, discarding the fat and root beer in the cooker. Pull the meat apart, shredding it with two forks. Then stir in some barbecue sauce and eat as a sandwich.

Coleslaw Topping
I made this slaw to serve on top and alongside the pulled pork. The flavors and texture coleslaw perfectly complemented this barbecued meat. I threw everything together without measuring or worrying, but the ingredients are from a Tyler Florence recipe. These measurements are only approximate.

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon or whole grain mustard
2 Tablespoons mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
black pepper and salt to taste
1 bag shredded cabbage mixture

Mix all the dressing ingredients and give it a taste. Then mix in the shredded cabbage. Serve on and alongside pulled pork sandwiches.

Tags: dinner · quick fix · recipes · salad

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