If someone was to ask me my favorite kitchen appliance, I would have to say “all of them.” If someone was to ask me what I think is the most underrated kitchen appliance I would say: the crockpot.
I’m one of those people who hesitates to leave a heated appliance plugged in and powered on for ten hour stretches when I’m not home (which is likely related to the fact that I would prefer to spend my money at Whole Foods than on renters’ insurance, but that’s besides the point). Nonetheless, this pulled pork is worth it.
Friday, my friend Rachel and I were cooking for 20 people to welcome our friend Charlette to Chicago and one of our menu items needed 8 hours in the slow cooker. This is not only a painstakingly easy recipe, but it requires very little hands on time before you toss it into the slow cooker and forget it’s there. That I did, and I’m pleased to say that I did not need to call the fire department and my apartment building still stands in one piece.
For the party, I served these as sliders and because our menu was a “Welcome to Chicago” party focused around a Chicago theme (including costumes), with spicy giardiniera, an assortment of spicy pickled peppers and vegetables.
For a busy weeknight, you could make these as full-sized sandwiches and still have some leftovers (or use a smaller piece of pork and freeze extra barbecue sauce for a future use).
- 1 cup lager (or any beer of your choice, I used Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold)
- ½ large onion, chopped
- ½ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup cider vinegar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 pounds pork butt or shoulder, bone-in
- 30 slider buns (or as many full-sized sandwich rolls as you'd like to serve)
- Spicy giardiniera, optional for serving
- Combine the first twelve ingredients in your slow-cooker and stir until combined. Add the pork butt or shoulder and stir gently, spooning sauce over the pork until it's almost completely coated. Turn your slow cooker on low and let it cook for 8 hours (or longer if you'll be away from the home for more than eight hours).
- After a minimum of 8 hours, shred the pork using two forks and serve with the extra sauce on the side. Place on individual buns and serve topped with giardiniera, if desired. Save leftovers for up to two days.