I debated endlessly as to whether or not I should post this recipe. You see, slow-cooker pulled pork is my secret weapon—my Hail Mary, my trump card. Any time I want to make people happy (make their stomachs happy, really), I make this pulled pork recipe. So naturally, I like to keep it close to the chest. Because it really (really really) is that good.
Slow-cooker pulled pork is at almost every family function we have. It’s my Auntie Lina’s specialty and we all beg for it any time there’s a celebration or get together on the calendar. Now that I live on my own and do my own entertaining, pulled pork has become my own party go-to. The guys love it, the ladies love it and—perhaps most importantly sometimes—it lays a solid base for a night of drinking. Hey, just being honest.
Obviously, after all that internal debating, I’ve chosen to share the recipe. And I implore you: make it wisely. It can cause, in not-so-rare occasions, cases of mild obsession, over-eating out of deliciousness and even impromptu marriage proposals. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
These pulled pork sandwiches are best served on toasty potato rolls (MUST be potato rolls) with a decent helping of corn cakes and honey butter on the side (more on that later). This will make about 15 pulled pork sandwiches, which makes it great for a crowd.
- One pork shoulder or pork butt between 3 and 4 pounds (you should be able to find this at the meat counter of your grocer).
- 1 cup water
- 18 oz (one bottle) Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
Place the pork and water into a crockpot or slow cooker. Cook through the day (3.5-4 hours if you have it set to “high”, between 5.5 and 7 hours if you have it set to “low”). You’ll know it’s done when the meat is fragrant, a light brown color (as seen above) and literally falls apart at the touch of a fork.
Remove it from the crock pot, place on a cutting board and begin to shred the meat with two forks. Drain the crock pot, the add the shredded meat back into the pot, along with the BBQ sauce, hot sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.Stir to coat then allow to cook for another hour. You can keep it on “warm” throughout your party if you have guests serving themselves. For the mini corn cakes (which taste better than regular corn muffins, because they’re mini), I use a Jiffy cornbread mix—keep it basic, because the real magic here is in the butter. I first had the corn cake/honey cinnamon butter combo at one of my favorite restaurants here in Astoria, Butcher Bar, and knew I needed to try making it at home someday. It’s so easy!
- 1/2 cup stick butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whip ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer until they’re combined and the butter is light and fluffy. Serve on everything from corn cakes and pulled pork (duh) to waffles, french toast and sweet potatoes!