Since getting married last August one thing I’ve done at the end of each month is meal plan for the next month. It’s actually more stressful than one might think, but planning out our meals helps save money and keeps groceries from going to waste! I haven’t been the most faithful meal planner, but yesterday I decided to start again. The most difficult part of the process is planning around company and days that we’re going to be out of town, so this week for instance I only bought for a week since we’ll be gone for several days at the end of the week and I didn’t want anything going bad.
Each time I plan two weeks at a time, or at least grocery shop for 2 weeks at a time. My goal is to only go to the grocery store twice a month – I think I’ve failed with that goal every time. I plan the first two weeks and then I sort of plan out the following two weeks but usually by the time those weeks roll around our palates have changed or we’ve stocked up on more so the meals usually change.
But I always try and incorporate a few new meals into each planning session – either a new recipe that my mom gave me, something I found on Pinterest or a recipe from The Pioneer Woman. So yesterday when I began to think of meals, I found the recipe for Pulled Pork in my Pioneer Woman cookbook. Immediately I realized that cooking up some pulled pork could give us some great meal options for several days: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Pulled Pork nachos/salad, Pulled Pork Quesadillas, etc.
So pulled pork it was!
I’ve never bought a roast and then cooked it with my slow cooker before, but that’s exactly what I did this time. I was told to buy a pork shoulder/butt, but I couldn’t find it in my grocery store so I found what was called “Picnic Pork”??? I have no idea what that means but it seemed to be the exact thing I needed for this recipe.
I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for some guidelines but ultimately I created my own recipe, & here’s what I did:
Grab an onion and cut it into large chunks. I had half of an onion in the fridge so I only used half, but I would’ve preferred using a full onion for this recipe. Place the onions chunks around the bottom of your crock pot.
Get your hunk of meat – mine was just shy of 4 pounds – and place it on top of your onions. Sprinkle with plenty of kosher salt and pepper.
Crack open a can of pop – Pioneer Woman likes Dr. Pepper, I used a can of Coca-Cola because I just happened to have it on hand – and pour 1-2 cans in with your meat. I only used one can just because I had never done this before and didn’t want my meat tasting like Coke – haha- but next time I would use 2 cans.
If you like spice and Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, then open up a can of those and use to your discretion! I don’t like spice but I like the flavor of chipotle peppers so I chopped up 2 peppers and added about 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce to my crock pot. Next time I would add 3-4 peppers since I didn’t even taste any heat.
Add in a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce – plus a few more because this is one of my favorite ingredients to put on meat! I added about a Tablespoon of sauce.
Sprinkle in 2-3 Tablespoons of brown sugar for extra sweetness.
Now, you can be like my mom and sort of create your own BBQ sauce to put in using ketchup and vinegar – or you can be like me and just buy some BBQ sauce and put that in since it was my first time! My mom also adds a few dashes of Liquid Smoke – but I didn’t have any on hand and forgot to get some at the store, so I bought some Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce and put in ½ cup – ¾ cup. Also at this point, if you haven’t yet, pour in enough water to cover the meat about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way.
Stir the ingredients as much as you can in the crock pot and around the meat so that the flavors mix a little.
Now cover your crock pot and turn it on low for 8 hours. At the half way point I actually turned over the hunks of meat just to make sure there was even cooking going on. This really did take me a full 8 hours to make, and it wasn’t until about the 6 1/2 hour mark that I actually believed that the meat was cooking! You’ll know the meat is ready when you can poke a fork in it and it basically just falls apart before you – which is did for me after 8 hours! Also, my crock pot is a larger one – 5 quarts, I believe – so if you’re using a smaller crock pot or using less meat, make sure you adjust accordingly.
Take your meat out of the crock pot when it’s done and put it on a large platter or large cutting board then shred it apart using two forks. Add more BBQ sauce then serve!
The pulled pork was supposed to be dinner last night but it ended up taking longer than I thought to cook, so by the time I took this out last night, I had to put it away until lunch today! I stored it in a large bowl and added some of the juices from the crock pot to it so that the meat wouldn’t dry out in the fridge.
This pork turned out really well! It was super moist (which I think is most important) and was very flavorful… but next time I would add a little more of all the flavors to get a deeper smoky flavor on the pork.
I bought dinner rolls so that we could make sliders with the meat along with corn on the cob! Yummm! I think the best part about this meat is that I can throw it into the freezer and thaw it out for another week. This was my plan from the beginning because 4 pounds of meat for 2 people is a lot of meat but it was easier to cook all at one time.
This is basically a foolproof recipe – add what you like and just cook it long enough to become tender!
Make pulled pork sandwiches, shredded pork tacos, taco salad or make shredded pork quesadillas. Basically, you can’t go wrong!
P.S. This is a perfect dish to take for a Pot Luck, make for a family BBQ or throw together for dinner after a busy day!
- 4 pounds pork (shoulder/butt)
- 1 whole onion, cut into large chunks
- salt/pepper to taste
- 2-4 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 24 oz dark soda (dr. pepper, coke, root beer)
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 2-3 T brown sugar
- 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
- Few dashes, Liquid Smoke
- Enough water to cover 2/3 - 3/4 of the way
- Salt and pepper the meat. Place onions on the bottom of the crock pot then set meat on top. Add the remaining ingredients and cover for 8 hours on low.