Up until a year or two ago, I had no idea that pulled pork existed. Just the name itself is kind of gross-sounding and weird, almost uh- kind of vulgar, if you know what I mean. When my husband mentioned "pulled pork" sandwiches, my reaction was one of mild disgust. I pictured meat all stretched out on something like a taffy pull. Of course, pulled pork is just a name for really tender pork that can be "pulled" apart. Still, it sounded weird.
Then, he made if for me.
As I may have mentioned- living in an upstairs apartment with no yard or patio leaves us little room to stretch out, let alone barbecue. When we have pulled pork, we make it in our trusty crock pot. Yes, we broke out the crock pot again, twice in a week! The meat simmers all day (after marinating all night in the fridge) and ends up moist and tender, perfect for little sandwiches. (Or big sandwiches.)
Here's how the hubby puts it together:
For a 2lb pork butt:
In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, a few generous pinches of salt, cracked black pepper, some chili powder, some garlic powder, and rub on the pork. Keep it overnight in the fridge letting the rub soak in.
In the morning, throw it in a large crock pot with one large white onion, diced, a few smashed cloves of garlic, and about 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. It smells kind of weird at first, but after the meat gets going, it's amazing. Plan to be out of the house all day or you're going to want to pick at it.
After simmering for many hours (we did ours from about 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), the meat is easily fork-shredded (or pulled, uuugh) into bite-sized pieces.
I also busted out a big batch of fresh coleslaw. Tonight's dinner is going to feed us lunch tomorrow, and probably a late night snack, too. This morning when Jason was running out the door to work, I was all, "Yo! What do you want me to put in the coleslaw?"
His hurried response was:
"Uh, half a head of green cabbage, about a quarter of the red cabbage- a couple of carrots, some celery, and then a LARGE dollop of mayonnaise, thinned out with some apple cider vinegar and seasoned with salt & pepper."
So, that's exactly what I did. I sliced everything by hand, because I love to chop vegetables, but my husband pointed out he would have been lazy and used the food processor. Oh well! Shred cabbage, carrots, and dice celery (I did 2 carrots and 2 small celery stalks) and toss in a large bowl. In a small bowl, scoop a huge dollop of mayonnaise. (I'm guessing my "dollop" was really more like half a cup, if not a little more. I used the 'serving' spoon that came with our silverware set- not a regular table spoon.) Adding a splash of apple cider vinegar at a time, whisk until the consistency will coat a spoon, but flows freely. Season with salt & pepper, and toss to coat chopped veggies. I couldn't believe how perfect this came out- it was my first time making coleslaw from scratch and I was immensely pleased with the results. I can't wait to have it for lunch tomorrow.
I felt compelled to edit my post to tell you all about the leftovers I had today. Hella good! Hubby and I each had a sandwich for lunch, and then there was still enough left over for dinner. According to our list (yeah, we do a list, haha) it was "taco night" so I chopped up the rest of a red bell pepper I had in the fridge, half an onion, and sauteed them in a hot pan with some oil, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Then I added the rest of the pork and let it simmer for awhile. Very tasty pork tacos! I love it when my leftovers are actually appetizing the next day.