Wednesday, January 1, 2014

4 Ingredient ROOT BEER PULLED PORK in a Slow Cooker - Church PotLuck Main Course

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I feel like I need to explain myself... I can Grill.  I can smoke and BBQ.  In fact I have a very detailed post on Smoking a Pork Shoulder (Pulled Pork) on a Weber Grill.  There is nothing like a Summer BBQ with pulled pork!  But Sometimes (like now when my smoker is covered in snow), a hint of summer BBQ out of my Crock Pot is still something special!

Special but amazingly easy.  Sure, it is called a slow cooker and this does take time.  But the time is hands off cooking.  Eight hours when you don't touch your meat... Shirley you can do that...  My apologies, I am writing this up while watching Airplane!, I will try to be nice...

EASY, like I said, only 4 ingredients.  You could certainly make your own BBQ Rub (See THIS POST for a Texas BBQ Rub recipe), but every grocery store or BBQ specialty store sells prepackaged Rub.  And of course those same stores have dozens of BBQ sauces for sale (Or make your own... I even have a post for making a sweet BBQ Sauce that goes wonderfully with this pork, see THIS POST for that recipe).

BUT, as I said... Let's talk easy.  There is only one tricky part to this recipe  That is to trim the hard fat from the pork shoulder.  It is easy to spot, it feel hard.  Just slice it away, leaving a tiny tiny bit.  This fat is on the outside of the shoulder and is easy to get out.  Sharp knifes always work best.  this also helps to get the rub into the meat.

As to differences between a smoked BBQ Pulled Pork and the slow cooker... Well, you do lose that smokey flavor.  You lose the texture of the "bark" that forms on a smoked pork shoulder.  But the taste from the rub is there.  If you are not ready to BBQ... or like me, too much of a weenie to grill in the snow, you will LOVE this recipe.

Easy... Filled with Flavor, and enough to feed an army!

And did I say easy???  Shirley this will become a favorite!

OK... Here's what I did...

4 Ingredient

  • 1 - Four to five pound Pork Shoulder (Pork Butt)
  • 3/4 Cup BBQ Rub (store bought mix or make your own)
  • 1 Bottle (12 Ounce) Root Beer (please, NOT diet)
  • 1 to 2 Cup(s) Your Favorite BBQ Sauce (Store Bought or Make Your Own)
Cooking Directions
  1. Trim the "Hard" fat off of the Pork Shoulder. The soft fat will render and flavor the pork. The hard fat will never soften.
  2. Rub the BBQ Rub all over the pork shoulder. Rub, do not sprinkle. You want all of the rub to season the pork. Rub it in good!
  3. Wrap the seasoned shoulder in cling wrap and allow to sit for one hour.
  4. While your pork is resting, Pour the Root Beer into your slow cooker, set on Low to warm the soda during the rest time. Unwrap the pork shoulder and put into the crock pot. The root beer will rise a couple of inches, about half way up the pork.
  5. Cover with a lid and allow to cook covered (no peeking) for 8 hours.
  6. After 8 hours, use a digital thermometer and check the internal temperature. You want to cook the meat until the thickest part reads 195 degrees.
  7. As needed, cover and continue to cook until 195 degree temperature has been reached. This is Very Important, continue cooking until proper temp of 195 degrees.
  8. Remove the pork from the cooker. Discard the juices, allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes. Then shred with a couple of fork. The meat should pull apart effortlessly.
  9. Return the meat to the slow cooker (no juices now). Add the BBQ sauce as you like it... More if you want a "wet" Sandwich, more if you just want the meat coated.
  10. Serve on a bun with Provolone Cheese and Dill Pickles and ENJOY!
  11. BTW, Leftovers freeze easily (Freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible). SO you can ENJOY more in a month!


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Simple but Next Level Dishes"!

Kind of an odd title for these posts. But the longer sentence is... Simple recipes that are easy and inexpensive that will take your cooking to the next level... Things like easy pickled items (I always have a jar of Pickled Red Onions for sandwiches in my fridge). Or how about the easiest bread to make in the world... Beer Bread that is tasty on it's own but also makes a wonderful open face pizza style sandwich... With easy to make Tomato Sauce. Or how about Roasting Garlic for a spread on toast points for a unique appetizer. Infusing Oil with Herbs or spices or spicy peppers. Or how about making your own BBQ sauce. Nothing sets you apart as a grill master like setting out a jar of your own specialty BBQ Sauce.

You get the idea. These recipes are very simple, take very little time but will set you apart as a better cook...


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of "52 Ways to Cook SLOW COOKER-CROCK POT Easy Recipes"!!!

From meat dishes (Like an AMAZING Root Beer Pulled Pork that will feed a small army), to kitchen staples (FREE Gallon of Chicken Stock anyone?) to a slew of Soup and Stew recipes, these are the dishes that will change the way you cook.  Start in the morning, set and forget and dinner is on the table... Easy Peasy indeed!!!

This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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