Thanks to a wonderful boyfriend who knows buying me cooking utensils will let him reap the rewards, I received a crock-pot for my birthday and a new cookbook, Slow Cooker Revolution by the America’s Test Kitchen team.
I’ve been wanting a slow cooker for awhile mostly because it would help move our dinner times from 9 pm back to a normal-ish 7 o’clock hour. Cooking on low for 10 hours means I can plug it on on my way to work at 7 am, and have a nicely cooked roast waiting for me by 5. The first recipe I wanted to try, though, was a simple pulled pork.
I’ve loved ATK’s recipes in the past, and have all their PBS episodes taped on my DVR. Their attention to detail when creating the recipes is almost a guarantee that they’ve tried all the options, and this is the best. That being said, I do try to limit the amount of fat included, and I’ve adjusted the sauce more to my taste than to a traditional ‘North Carolina’ vinegar-rich recipe they suggested.
North Carolina Pulled Pork
America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution
Time: 12 hours marinating/10 hours cooking on low
- 3 T. dark brown sugar
- 2 T. sweet paprika
- 1 T. chili powder
- .5 T. ground cumin
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 T.pepper
- 2.5-lb boneless pork butt roast, trimmed, quartered
- 2 smoked ham hocks, rinsed
- 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 c. cider vinegar (up to 1/2 c. if you like it more vinegar-y)
- 1/3 c. ketchup
- 3/4 t. liquid smoke
- Combine 1.5 T. brown sugar, the paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Using a fork, prick the pork all over and rub in marinade. Wrap pork tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours.
- Place ham hocks in slow cooker, and the pork on top of them. Pour broth over the meat and cover. Cook 9 to 11 hours on low.
- Transfer pork and hocks to a large bowl and let rest for 5 minutes. Strain the braising liquid into a fat separator. Let settle for five minutes, then remove the fat.
- Simmer in a saucepan for 30 minutes until liquid has reduced by half, or around 1 cup. Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, liquid smoke, and 1.5 T. sugar. Season with salt/pepper to taste.
- As sauce is simmering, take two forks and shred the pork. Remove all fat, skin, and bones as you work. When sauce is finished, pour over meat and serve.