Sunday, September 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork
With college football season gearing up, I thought I would run my favorite tailgating meal. 
This recipe is based on Cook's Illustrated's North Carolina Pulled Pork from Slow Cooker Revolution. I could not find smoked ham hocks so I substituted the bacon for the hocks, hoping to keep the pork flavor but add some smoke flavor. The bacon had completely disintegrated, during the long cooking time. I also switched paprika for smoked paprika to give it more of a smoked flavor. Remember true NC pulled pork sandwiches are served with coleslaw on the bun with the meat.

North Carolina Pulled Pork
6 tbs brown sugar
1/4 cup smoked paprika (original called for regular paprika)
2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs ground cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tbs fresh ground pepper
1 5 pound boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and quartered
6 oz bacon (original called for 3 smoked ham hocks)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Mix 3 tbs of brown sugar, the paprika, chili powder, cumin, 2 tsp salt and 1 tbs pepper in a large bowl. Poke the pork all over with a fork. Roll the pork in the sugar mixture until completely covered. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.

Lay the bacon across the bottom of the slow cooker. Unwrap the pork and lay it on top of the bacon. Pour the broth over the meat. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 5 to 7 hours on high or 9 to 11 hours on low.

Remove the pork form slow cooker and let it cool. The bacon should have dissolved into the cooking liquid. Let the cooking liquid cool for 5 minutes then skim any fat off the top.

Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan, skimming any bits and pieces out as you pour it. Cook until you have about 1 cup of liquid left, this will take about 30 minutes. Add vinegar, ketchup, liquid smoke and remaining 3 tbs of brown sugar to liquid. Whisk it and bring to simmer. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Shred the pork while the sauce is reducing. This should be easy as it will be falling apart as you touch it. Toss the pork with 1 1/2 cups of the sauce. Put the remaining sauce on the table, so people can add more if they like.
NC style pulled pork with the slaw on the sandwich.


  1. Now this is a sandwich to sink your teeth in perfect for our Sunday get togethers! That sounds wonderful!

  2. Looks so tasty, Greg, we had Notre Dame V Navy here in Ireland (Dublin)recently complete with tailgate parties! Tried to follow you on Pinterest, but it's coming up "Unauthorized" :/

    1. I am not sure why Pinterest said you weren't authorized. I don't have restrictions on it. I did get a message saying you were following one of my boards. By the way I graduated from Michigan State University, the only team that has beat Notre Dame 6 consecutive years at Notre Dame.

  3. Now if you could just make me some pulled tofu! :D

  4. Dear Greg, A favorite in my house. This sounds delicious. Blessings, Catherine