With many foodies, the crock pot has somewhat of a bad reputation. It’s often viewed as a rather low-brow cooking technique capable only of boring pot roasts and chili. While the crock pot is pretty spectacular with pot roast and chili, I know it has potential outside of these areas. Slow-cooking results in moist and flavorful meat, that I have been known to eat right out of the crock pot. All the tastes have time to truly blend during the long spell of cooking and you have a chance to do other things, such as work a full day. The problem might be that people cannot plan a meal 4-5 hours ahead of time for the High setting or, even worse, 8-10 hours ahead for the Low setting.
Since I have been running around for the last week preparing for my imminent move to NYC, crock pot cooking came in handy. At dinner time a few nights ago, I made a simple meal and also started marinating a pork loin roast in a spicy rub in preparation for Crock Pot Pulled Pork from Heaven. Four hours later when I was starting to yearn for bedtime, the pork was ready for the crock pot. Although you can marinate a piece of meat for up to 24 hours, many chefs advise four hours for optimal results. I put the pork roast in the crock pot, and making sure to keep the rub in tact, covered it with a mixture of apple juice and cider vinegar. The roast cooked for about 10 hours at low while I slept.
The result was delicious, and the best part was waking up to the smell of apple and pork filling my apartment. With a couple forks, the roast easily fell apart, and with a little BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or ketchup, quickly became many, many pulled pork sandwiches enjoyed for days to come. With no one to share with immediately at hand, I think I have now effectively overdosed on pulled pork. Mmmmmm, it was worth it.
Crock Pot Pulled Pork From Heaven
2 1/2-4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
1 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. Cajun seasoning
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 Tbs. mesquite powder
1/2 C. frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 C. cider vinegar
Combine brown sugar through mesquite powder. Spread over entire roast. Refrigerate roast in a Ziploc bag for up to 24 hours. Place apple juice and vinegar in a crock pot and add the spiced shoulder being careful not to lose the rub. Cook on high for two hours, then reduce to low for 10 more hours. Remove the roast and let rest for 30 minutes. Pull roast apart with two forks.
Recipe compliments of one our favorite readers, Sandi Kafka, Arcadia, CA