Let me start off this post by telling you about an amazing day I had a few weeks ago. The weather was great, I had just had a wonderful weekend, and I was going grocery shopping. I went to Safeway with no specific purchase in mind hoping to be inspired. Boy was I ever. I wandered over to the meat section and found a pork shoulder on sale for $11.56 when it was usually $23.47 and I died. Then resurrected and bought iiiit. Right after that I ventured to the thrift store and found my $5.99 stock pot!! It was an amazing day. More than amazing. It was the best. Anyways, thats the story of how I got my beautiful pork shoulder. I’d been thinking of making pulled pork for a while and I knew pork shoulder was ideal since the long cooking time would allow the meat to tenderize and break down. Unfortunately the week that followed this purchase was a pretty busy one so I ended up having to freeze my pork. It waited for me for two weeks in the freezer and I thought about it almost every day. The only thing I was missing was a slow cooker and time. Once I got my hands on Reginald everything just fell into place.
To prep my shoulder for its long day of cooking I gave it a good rub with some cajun seasoning and let it sit overnight. The next morning I was greeted by a wonderfully seasoned piece of meat ready to be cooked. I plopped it into the cooker, which was just barely big enough. I think next time I’ll opt for a small shoulder or maybe cut it down and do it in two batches. I followed that with a can of beer, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, some dried spices, and some hot sauce. I turned it on to low and Reginald work his magic.
I read a variety of sources on how long to cook my pork for and the general consensus was about 8-10 hours. After lots of poking and prodding I ended up giving my pork about 9 hours. Every time I took off the lid to check on the pork I was overcome by the wonderful smell. There were hints of beer, oregano, and meatiness. It was awesome. When the time came to turn off Reginald and start pulling apart the pork I could barely restrain myself. The broth was deep brown and the meat had developed a bit of a crust where the rub had cooked onto and into the meat. As I tried to pull it out of the slow cooker the pork actually split. It was so tender it couldn’t keep itself together.
After I got it all out of the pot I proceeded to pull it apart. I’ve never made pulled anything so I didn’t really know what to expect. It literally fell apart in front of my eyes. I probably didn’t even need the forks. It was so juicy and tender and tasty. I had to stop myself from eating it all right then. So yeah it was delicious and there’s so much! SO much!
As if making this wasn’t enough, I decided that I also wanted to make some BBQ sauce to go with my pork. I looked up quite a few recipes and ended up going with a tomato base. I threw in a can of tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, louisiana hot sauce, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and chili powder and let it simmer for 40 minutes. The result was loooovely. Thick, red, and delicious.
I warmed up some pork, poured on some sauce, and ate it with some fresh bread I had just baked. It. Was. Awesome. Amazing. Like a dream. The best. Ridiculous. Incredibly. Beyond words. Legit, I have nothing else to say. Just look at the photos.
- 1 pork shoulder, around 4 pounds
- 1 beer
- Water, enough to cover the pork after the beer has been added
- 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- Cajun seasoning, depends on taste, at least enough to rub over your entire shoulder
The night before cooking rub the shoulder in cajun seasoning then return to bag or wrap and let sit in fridge overnight. After at least 8 hours of sitting put shoulder in crock pot. Add beer, water, oregano, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Turn to low and cook for at least 8 hours. When finished turn off crock pot, remove pork to cutting board, pull apart, and discard fat.
- 1 can tomato puree
- 5 tblsp brown sugar
- 5 tblsp worcestershire sauce
- 3 tsp louisiana hot sauce
- 1 tsp english mustard
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 4 tblsp vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 tsp chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a small pot. Let simmer over low-medium heat for around 40 minutes. I find BBQ sauce to be a very subjective thing so make sure you taste it while its cooking and add whatever you you feel it needs.