Something different for Something New For Dinner
You will probably never see another recipe like this on Something New For Dinner. Here is the back story. My son Mikey and his college buddy Zio are home for the summer. Needless to say, keeping the fridge full has been a challenge. Mikey is a pulled pork aficionado, so I wanted to find a good pulled pork recipe I could make in my slow cooker. I scoured my cookbooks and the internet and found a recipe with 4.5 stars on a 5-star rating with 2,580 reviews. No joke. I had never seen a recipe on any site with so many reviews, much less so many great reviews. Then I read the recipe. You simply put your pork in a slow cooker with a bottle of root beer for several hours, shred it and put it back in the slow cooker for a couple hours with a bottle of barbecue sauce. This was wrong in so many ways, I vowed to find a less toxic, more hand-crafted way of making pulled pork. But them I kept coming back to the 2,580 reviews and figured I had to give it a try.
The boys and my dogs give this pulled pork top reviews
My son gave it his all time highest recipe rating. And my dog Chubby, literally planted herself by the slow cooker and whined for a bite. Chubby, despite her name, has never done this before with anything else I have cooked. This recipe is way outside my healthy view on good eating habits, but every once in a while it is OK to go outside the box. How can you argue with 2,581 reviews?
Barbecue sauce is key
The slow cooking in the root beer tenderizes the pork and renders the fat from the pork. The barbecue sauce provides the flavor, so make sure you pick a barbecue sauce you like. I asked the guy at the meat counter at Whole Food's which barbecue sauce they use in their pulled pork, and went with their choice of Dean's Natural Grill Mesquite Barbecue. Many of the 2,580 recipe reviewers recommend Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce.
After doing some research, I modified the recipe a bit. Turns out there are lots of pulled pork recipes made with root beer or ginger ale. I added a layer of onions on the bottom of the slow cooker, used a 7-pound pork shoulder instead of pork tenderloin, used two bottles of root beer, and slow cooked it over night for 12 hours. If you are looking for a slow-cooker big enough to hold a 7-pound roast, I like my Cuisinart 6-quart slow cooker.
Top with coleslaw
My plan was to top the pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw, but I had a little mishap with a Cuisinart blade, so after a trip to Urgent care, we settled with chopped cabbage. Which goes to show, even experienced cooks screw up.
Brioche or King's Hawaiian hamburger buns
A nice fluffy bun is very important for a good pulled pork sandwich. I am particularly partial to the King's Hawaiian bread I grew up with in Hawaii.
Gluten free, low-carb and Paleo options
Wrap your pulled pork in lettuce or cabbage cups.
Almost zero preparation time
This recipe takes very little active time. You can throw everything in the slow cooker in 10 minutes. It slow cooks for 12 hours. It takes another 10 minutes to shred and add sauce. Then you throw it back in the slow cooker for another couple hours. You can skip this last step if you are short on time.
Yield 10 servings
HIghly rated by my son Mikey, a pulled pork aficionado, this slow-cooked pulled pork recipe received his highest ratings.
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 7-pound pork shoulder, also known as Boston butt
- 2 bottles root beer
- 2 12-ounce bottles barbecue sauce
- 10 brioche or King's Hawaiian hamburger buns
- Shredded cabbage or coleslaw
- Put the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork shoulder on top of the onions. Pour in two bottles of root beer and cover. Set to low and cook for 12 hours.
- Use tongs to remove the shoulder from the cooker and dump the residual liquid down the drain. Let the roast cool down until it is cool enough to shred. Shred the pork into bite-sized pieces taking care to discard any fatty parts.
- Put the shredded pork back in the slow cooker and add 1.5 bottles of barbecue sauce. Stir to coat the pork. Turn the slow cooker back on low and cook for another two hours.
- Serve on buns with coleslaw or shredded cabbage.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH