Saturday, September 19, 2009

Easy North Carolina Pulled Pork Barbeque

Ever been to a pig-pickin'? If, not, you've missed out! This is a simple slow-cooker recipe for those of you who, like me, enjoy that vinegar-based, "pulled-pork" barbeque that is a North Carolina specialty. Real barbeque is cooked for hours and hours in an outdoor cooker with hickory chips. This recipe is a fantastic, easy substitute for the real stuff! This is usually eaten on a sandwich, using any soft bun you like. I served this with coleslaw, pickles and grapes. This sauce is also a really good marinade for grilled chicken.

2.5 lb. pork roast (or pork shoulder)

1 T. paprika
1 T. pepper
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 T. salt

2 c. vinegar

1/2 T. brown sugar
1 t. cayenne pepper
1-2 t. red pepper (depending on how hot you want it!)
1/2 T. hot sauce (opt.)
1-2 T. ketchup
1 t. Liquid Smoke (opt., but good: found in a smallish bottle near Worcester Sauce at WalMart)

Mix the rub ingredients together and rub onto your roast. For best flavor you can put the rub on the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight (I didn't do this, but I'm sure it tastes even better).

The next morning, put your roast in your slow cooker. Pour the 2 c. of vinegar around the roast. Yes it smells terrible, and will for half of the day, but it's worth it! Do not bother with the other ingredients for now. Put the lid on, and cook on low for 10-12 hours. Meat can be cooked on high and will be done in 4-5 hours, but will be less tender. Mine was mostly frozen, so I cooked it on high for 2 hours, then turned to low for 4 hours.

Once your meat is done, remove it from the cooker, and shred it finely with a fork. Add in remaining sauce ingredients to the vinegar in the slow-cooker, mixing well. Liquid Smoke gives things a slightly smokey, outdoor-wood-chipped-barbeque flavor. Put your shredded pork back in the pot, mixing well. The meat really soaks up the sauce, so you may find yourself making more sauce if needed. Keep pork on low or warm for another 30 min. or until ready to serve. Serve with more sauce if desired.

Serves 6

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