Simulating Summer BBQ

crock-pot.jpgToday Tracy shares a recipe to simulate summer BBQ when the weather is uncooperative:

“One of the things I crave during the late winter and through spring - when the weather is grill prohibitive - is the smoky, sweet taste of barbecue. This recipe for pulled pork in the slow cooker is our solution to simulate summer any time of year actually; it takes the sting out of winter and satisfies BBQ cravings during raw spring or soggy summer days.
This dish is a real crowd pleaser and I serve it with cole slaw or Caesar salad. I recommend serving it on Kaiser rolls rather than a crusty dinner roll because crusty rolls make the filling squish out the sides. You also can wrap in warm flour tortillas with tomato and red onion, but I like the buns with the coleslaw right on top. Also note that this is a saucy, messy meal so serve with lots of napkins to catch the drips!

Note: The original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of crushed chilies in the dry rub. If you like a spicy, spicy dish, go ahead, but it’s too much for our kids, so we eliminated that and just use the 1 teaspoon in the sauce. Also, if you're time pressed, you could always opt to use your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce instead of making it from scratch.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • One 3-4 lb. pork shoulder picnic roast

    Dry Rub:

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme (dried leaves are fine, too)
  • 1 Tbl. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 Tbl. packed brown sugar

    Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili flakes
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

    1. Combine dry rub ingredients in a glass casserole dish; set aside. Trim the roast, removing the bulk of the fat, but not all of it. Cut the roast into 4 equal pieces and trim fat again. Coat pieces of roast evenly with the rub. Heat a nonstick skillet on the stove with a small amount of oil. When oil is hot, sear the meat on both sides for about 3 minutes per side. (Note: this gets smoky - you many want to open a window and/or turn on your stove vent for this part.) Transfer seared pork to slow cooker.

    2. In a medium saucepan, combine the barbecue sauce ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved and sauce is bubbling. Pour over meat in slow cooker.

    3. Cook pork on low setting of slow cooker for 7-8 hours, or 4-5 hours on the high setting. About 30 minutes before cooking time has elapsed shred the pork using two forks (I usually remove the pieces from the cooker to a separate bowl at this point, then return to slow cooker). Continue cooking shredded pork for half an hour.”

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    Image credit: Rival 6-Quart Slow Cooker Crock-Pot