It’s one of my favorites. I like to eat it by itself; a bun just muddies up the whole depth of flavor and basically gets in the way. After stealing bite after bite straight out of the crockpot tonight I decided to have mine over a seasoned-crusted baked potato. I normally avoid carbs but I figure the carbs from a God-made vegetable are better for me than the human-made ones that go into bready things. Umm… right?
And running makes me hungry, ya’ll, so.
I don’t really follow a recipe with this and never have, and as such it always turns out tasting a little bit different each time. But still rich and flavorful and yum, so there’s enough consistency across the board to keep it delicious. So I will ballpark it for you recipe-needers out there.
First, you gotta make a rub. I mean, you can buy pork rubs and chicken rubs, but why waste the money when you probably have all the ingredients right there in your spice rack? I throw together a mix of brown sugar, dry mustard, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and seasoned salt and whatever else I’m in the mood for. This time around I threw in some Greek seasoning (that’s quickly becoming one of my favorite go-tos for everything) and some Forward! from Penzey’s. (See below for more exact-ish measurements)
Once the spices are combined, really rub it into the meat. They don’t call it a rub for nothing! Massage it in; get your hands and fingers caked in the stuff. Do this at least four hours prior to cooking. Letting it sit overnight is even better.
Ours hung out in the fridge overnight, soaking it all in.
This morning I took the meat out and let it sit at room temp for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, I got my crockpot out and dumped the remaining marinade into the bottom of the pot. If you let it sit overnight you’ll find that the meat “sweats” as it marinates — use that juice! I also added some veggie broth for moisture. You can use whatever broth you want. Veggie is what I had on hand.
Get a lightly-greased pan screaming hot. Like smoking – literally. I used a little olive oil for the grease factor (added after the pan was up to temp, otherwise your oil will be smoking and not necessarily the pan). Plop your meat in and let it fry until it gets a nice, thick sear. You will smell burning sugar and other things that might make you think things are about to catch on fire, but this is a good thing. Caramelization and all that. It all adds up to delicious. Do this for all sides of the meat, even the tops and bottoms. Use tongs to turn it, not a fork. Don’t pierce the meat and let all the juices escape!
Put your meat in the crock, drizzle your favorite barbecue sauce over the top and turn it on low for 6-8 hours. Mine today cooked on low for 6 hours and it was a little over 2 pounds. Crock sizes/temps vary, so use yours the way you know best.
About 20 minutes before serving, shred the meat and stir — this will let it soak up all the juices inside. YUM. Re-cover to keep it hot until you’re ready to eat.
Jen’s Pulled Pork
2-3 pound pork roast (I used a picnic roast this time because it was on sale; I’ve also used shoulder roasts)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbs. garlic powder
1/2 tbs. dry mustard
1/2 tbs. paprika
1/2 tbs. onion powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 c. barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s this time; Famous Dave’s original is also good. Or make your own! Even better)
(**note: exact measurements are inconsequential; I always just eyeball this and do things to-taste. You really can’t go wrong! Like I said above, I added some Forward! and Greek seasoning and you can do the same. Or not. Whatever.)
1/2 c broth, chef’s choice (or enough to fill the bottom of your crockpot about 1/4 of an inch)
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl or shallow dish.
Rub the pork roast liberally with the mixture, massaging it into the meat.
Place roast in a ziploc bag and refrigerate at least four hours; overnight is better.
When ready to cook, heat a lightly-greased pan on high heat until it is smoking hot. Sear roast on all sides, forming a nice crust around the meat. You want caramelization.
Meanwhile, pour broth into bottom of crockpot, along with any extra marinade collected in the ziploc.
Once meat is seared on all sides, place in crockpot (fatty side up, if applicable), drizzle with barbecue sauce and cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on your crockpot’s specs.
20 minutes before serving, shred meat with two forks and stir, allowing the meat to soak up the broth and sauce. Re-cover until ready to eat. Serve on rolls, buns, potatoes, ice cream, straight out of the pot, etc.
Like I said, I served mine on a seasoned-crusted baked potato, which was delicious!! I rubbed a couple potatoes with a thin layer of olive oil then sprinkled them with some Greek seasoning (specifically this; you can get it at Walmart and it is AWESOME) and kosher salt. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or so, depending on the size of the potato.