Friday, August 26, 2011

Free Friday Recipe.....Pulled Pork

It's is back in session
and that means football is kicking off in many East Texas towns.  
 And if you have kids, that means your schedules
are getting crazy ridiculous again as well.
Crazy schedules call for easy meals...and there's nothing more relaxing
than coming home to dinner that is already cooked.
So go drag out that crock pot, sit down and print out this recipe!    
You can get it started in the a.m. before you head out or on your lunch break - 
and while you are back at work, going to a pep rally or running errands all day,
this little piggy is simmering away for your evening pleasure!

Now first things need some pork for this recipe. 
You can seriously use many different pork cuts for this. 
In the 'crumbs' household, we have used pork roasts,
blade roasts/steaks or boston butt roasts and picnic roasts.
Find what is convenient, on sale and/or cheap.
Remember, cooking shouldn't stress you by making you feel as if
you need to follow instructions down to the grain of salt. 
This is where owning the recipe comes in -  and YOU,
at some point, need to make it your own!
It's totally okay to experiment with different cuts of meat,
omit an ingredient, change up a spice, etc.
to fit your likes/dislikes.
Sometimes I hear people say, 'ooh, it has onions in it -
I could never make that for my family' - - - HELLO,
guess what??? You can OMIT the ONIONS!  Genius!
(*Baking on the other hand, requires much more precision!)

There are several little parts to this meal, but if you take them
one step at a time, they can easily be done well in advance.

Getting started - first, I had to dust off my crock pot
and gave the inside of it a quick spray with non-stick cooking spray. 
If you are preparing this before
you head out of the house in the morning,
turn your crockpot on low.  If you are not starting this until lunchtime,
I would turn my crockpot on med/high to high.

appx. 4 lbs. untrimmed pork shoulder blade roast (Boston butt)
2 Tbsp. paprika (or smoked paprika if you happen to have)
1 Tbsp. mustard powder
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar (kept seperately)
1 tsp. salt (for rub)
1 tsp. salt (for coleslaw/cooking liquid)
1 tsp. pepper (for rub)
1 tsp. pepper (for coleslaw/cooking liquid)
1 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. catsup
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (we only use 1 tsp.)
1 c. water
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3-4 cups finely shredded cabbage (or 2 - 14 oz. bags/coleslaw mix)
8 or more hamburger buns - toasted

Now it's time to make the dry rub for the pork.
Combine paprika, mustard powder, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar
and salt and pepper and make into a paste or rub.

Notice I did not have dry mustard for this recipe, so I
improvised.  (Which happens often around our household.)
I used regular French's mustard - in a squirt bottle...a perfectly fine substitute.
It just means the 'dry rub' is no longer dry...and that's okay...
no one will ever know.
Mix your dry rub ingredients together and rub/smear it
all over the pork then place in the crockpot.

In another small bowl whisk together
your cider vinegar, catsup, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. salt,
1 tsp. pepper and the 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar. 
Remove 1/3 c. of this mixture and set aside.
(this will be used for your coleslaw later on)
 Add the remaining mixture along with 1 c. water
to the crock pot with your pork in it.
Now put the lid on your crock pot and let it do it's thing.

This next step can be done immediately
or done later on while your pork roast is cooling
and waiting to be chopped!

Combine the reserved 1/3 cup of liquid you set aside earlier
and add in 1 c. mayo - whisk well.
This will then be tossed with your shredded cabbage.

Cover and refrigerate your coleslaw
until you are ready to assemble your pulled pork sandwiches.

After your sweet little pork has been cooking all day,
 it should be fork-tender, and most likely falling apart...
gently transfer it to a large bowl;
remove fat and skin and discard. 

Using two forks, shred meat or chop meat with a good knife.

Carefully pour some of the sauce from your
crock pot onto the meat. That is a must.

Now it is time to assemble!!!
Toast you some buns and add a layer of coleslaw
and then some shredded pork - umm delicious!

Enjoy this after a long day at work or on a lazy Saturday.
The pork really doesn't care what day it is.

And while we are 'recipe-ing' here,
I see you eyeing those yummy potatoes
sitting beside that yummy pulled pork sandwich...
so out of the kindness of my heart,
I will toss you the recipe for those too!
After all, it's Free Recipe Friday AND
the beginning of football season as well. Geez.

Grab a bag of red potatoes and give them a good scrubbing.
Do you need the whole bag?
Most likely not, so just figure a couple of small-medium
potatoes per person.
Slice potatoes into wedges, cubes or slices.
Lay them in a single layer on a good heavy baking pan.
(I prefer a metal one - although you can easily
cook them on the stovetop in a heavy skillet.)
Drizzle (heavy handedly) with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped garlic.
If you are really feeling zippy, toss some dry Ranch Dressing powder
all over these puppies and/or add some sliced onions.
Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes...tossing a few times
to 'unstick' any 'stuck' potatoes and to distribute the oil.

Now go relax, enjoy and have fun cheering on your favorite team!


  1. You didn't tell me how to cook the know I need ALL the help I can get!! They sound so yummy!

  2. ahhhhh! woops! I will fix that ma'am! thank you!

  3. Thanks, I can't wait to fix and eat some!!