With the ungodly heat we have been experiencing here in the northeast part of the country, I have had to find some alternatives to using the oven. I had bought a large pork butt last week to make pulled pork, but there was no way I was turning the oven on if I could avoid it. Thankfully, I was able to pull out the trusty slow cooker and use this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen so I was able to make some tasty pulled pork sliders for dinner instead.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sliders
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 (5-pound) boneless pork butt roast
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups barbecue sauce
Bread and butter pickles
For the pork: Dissolve 1/4 cup of salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons of liquid smoke in 2 quarts of cold water in a large container. Submerge the pork in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
While the pork brines, combine the mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke in a bowl and set it aside. Combine 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of pepper, the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, paprika, and cayenne in a second bowl and set aside.
Remove the pork from the brine and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Rub the mustard mixture over the entire surface of the pork. Sprinkle the pork with the spice mixture to coat well.Place the pork in the slow cooker and pour the barbecue sauce over the pork, cover, and cook, on either low or high, until the pork is fork tender and falling apart, 10 to 11 hours on low or 7 to 8 hours on high.
Transfer the meat to a large bow and let cool. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then use a wide spoon to skin the fat off the surface. Season the sauce with the cider vinegar, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it using your fingers or two forks., discarding any extra fat or gristle.
Toss the shredded meat with 1 cup of the cooking sauce, adding more as needed to keep it moist. Serve, passing the remaining sauce separately, with hamburger buns and pickles to make the sliders.
You can use any store-bought barbecue sauce you like for this recipe, or you can quickly use this recipe below and triple it to make enough sauce for this pulled pork.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup ketchup
5 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool to room temperature before serving, about 1 hour. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up yo 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Of course, no pulled pork sandwich is complete without some coleslaw. I am always on the lookout for new coleslaw recipes that do not use mayonnaise so they are better for the summer. I found this one from Food Network and it tasted great.
Gourmet Cole Slaw
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 ounces granulated sugar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 head green cabbage, julienned
1/4 head red cabbage, julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1 green onion, green part only cut into 1-inch lengths
1 teaspoon dry oregano
Salt and pepper
Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients into a bowl. Mix all the vegetables together in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables, toss and chill for 1 hour or until you are ready to serve.
It is simple and refreshing. You can always use a bag of coleslaw mix instead of handling all the vegetables yourself. I usually have a bag on hand during the summer so that is what I used this time and this recipe has a nice, light flavor to it that will go well with all types of sandwiches and dishes.
That’s all I have for today. Check back again next time to see what recipes come along. I have tried a few things out recently to post, such as a new roasted chicken recipe, french bread pizzas, a new burger recipe, and more. Check back and see what comes up next. until then, enjoy the rest of your day, try to stay cool and enjoy your meal!