It may surprise you to learn that I am really good at the cooking and eating part of this blog (no, probably not), but the tech side does not necessarily come naturally. It’s just because I don’t already know how to do it. I already know how to cook stuff and eat it. I can do that of my own volition. But to learn some new tech skills, I have to do just that – learn them. And that takes time and can sometimes seem daunting. But guess what? That contact page tab is up there looking at you right now. I did it. I took a big breath, and took the time, and taught myself a few things. It wasn’t hard (mainly because this Canvas theme is amazing and user-friendly), I just had to make myself sit down, get to it, and vow to be patient and take my time to understand things.
So don’t be afraid to learn something new. You should probably start with this pulled pork. It really is so easy!
Sometimes I like to mash-up two recipes to tailor them to my taste and cooking style. That’s what I did here. Make it summer and winter. One recipe says it’s Western North Carolina-style and the other says South Carolina-style. I’m not sure where this ends up on the spectrum, but my husband is from North Carolina and he loves this. So there you go.
Related recipes: Serve it with a Roasted Vegetable Salad with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette.
Carolina Pulled Pork
This is recipe is great because using the slow cooker means easy prep year-round. No oven heating up the house, no grill to monitor.
3-6 lbs bone-in pork shoulder (depending on the size of your crock-pot)
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar per pound of pork
1 tbsp strong coffee (you can use instant espresso if desired)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika (I used smoked paprika, hot or sweet will also work)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp molasses
Combine all rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix together until a paste forms.
Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Save some of the paste mixture and set aside.
Then, using your hands (a cook’s best tools), spread the paste mixture all over the pork, being sure to work into all of the nooks and crannies of the meat.
Wrap the pork tightly and let marinate in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably, overnight.
Remove the pork from wrapping.
Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the pork on all sides and place in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
Add vinegar and reserved paste mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. Be sure to scrape the pan for any fond left behind by the pork. Pour the liquid over the pork, place the lid on the cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours. I usually go the full 10. Especially if you are cooking a larger piece of meat. This is a great recipe to do overnight in the cooker. But be warned – the smell of delicious pork will wake you in the night!
Remove the pork from the cooker (do not discard remaining liquid) and let it cool considerably, but not all the way to room temp. The longer you let it cool, the better the fat will distribute throughout the meat.
At this point, many people will tell you to “take two forks and shred the pork”. Um, no. This will take you forever. And wear you out. Use your cook’s best tools again – your hands – and get in there and shred it up.
Once the pork is ‘pulled’ add it back into the slow cooker and mix it with the remaining liquid. Heat up the meat on low until it starts to simmer, then switch the heat to warm. You are now ready to eat!