Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Leaner Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Here's another one of those dishes that I cook often but, for some reason, haven't blogged about until now. It's my hands-off version of pulled pork and it's a big hit around my house.

Before I go any further with this tasty pork dish, let me say that this recipe cannot top a traditionally prepared pulled pork. However, my version of pulled pork is a succulent, great-tasting, go-to recipe that substitutes leaner pork loin or tenderloin for the fattier pork shoulder (picnic/butt). And talk about easy to put together!

If you're in the mood for pulled pork and you don't have the time to do it in traditional and authentic fashion, this is the recipe for you. It makes a large amount that can serve my family (myself, stepkid, and Hungry, Hungry Hubby) for 3 dinners and sometimes an additional lunch. I usually serve it up the first night in sandwich form with my favorite, tangy, yogurt-based slaw. The second meal can be anything from a pork quesadilla or burrito with rice, beans, lettuce, tomato and a light sour cream dressing. The third portion usually goes into the freezer for one of my too-busy-too-cook nights, where it might show up next to some roasted sweet potatoes and a crisp salad.

Leaner Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
1 2lb pork loin or 2 1lb pork tenderloins, rinsed and patted dry
olive oil
Mesquite-based seasoning with at least the following: mesquite, salt, pepper(s), lemon, sugar, garlic (I like Goode Company Barbeque's* Mesquite Shake or Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning)
1/4 c cider vinegar
your favorite homemade or purchased bbq sauce
kosher salt

1) On a baking sheet or other large work surface, spread pork lightly with olive oil, using just enough for seasonings to adhere.
2) Sprinkle pork generously with mesquite seasoning, making sure that entire loin or tenderloins are entirely coated.
3) Pour the cider vinegar into the bottom of the slow cooker and set the pork on top.
4) Pour enough of your fave bbq sauce over the top of the meat so as to prevent drying out. (I tend not to coat the entire loin or tenderloin with sauce, as the sauce on the bottom of the meat tends to burn, imparting a bitter taste.)
5) Set slow cooker using the following guidelines (DISCLAIMER: These times work with my slow cooker, but may vary for yours. Feel free to adjust accordingly.):
Pork loin - High for 3.5 hrs or Low for 7 hrs
Pork tenderloins - High for 2.5 hrs or Low for 4.5 - 5 hrs
6) When pork is done, pull apart with two forks, or let cool and pull with hands. While pulling, remove any small bits of fat that you come across.
7) Place pulled pork in a large bowl and mix in kosher salt to taste. Add about a half cup of the broth from the slow cooker, along with about 2/3 cup of bbq sauce.
8) Toss thoroughly to coat. Serve with additional bbq sauce.

* If you are ever in Houston, TX, please do check out Goode Co. Barbeque for some of the best bbq in Texas! While you're there, pick up some of their excellent rubs and sauces and have an extra slice of freshly baked jalapeno cheese bread for me. YUM!

0 red beans:

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