Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pull your pork not your leg

Do you ever feel so busy that you are certain you will meet yourself coming while you are going? I'm not sure there is a time when my family isn't just running, running, running. There are times when we just have to stop and not do anything to decompress. I have come to love my Crock Pot for the simple fact that I can have a dinner ready for my family and not have my family wait.
My version of Pulled Pork couldn't be more easy because the ingredients list is short...three short ingredients--no joke. Let's get this party started, what do you say? The cast of characters are:
2 trimmed 3 pound Pork roasts
  • 1 bottle of Root Beer. More on this later.
  • 1 bottle of Barbecue Sauce.
This particular bottle of barbecue sauce was a 32 oz. bottle of sauce and the root beer was 16 ounces. I also had Lawry's seasoned salt that I dusted on the roast, it's is great either way.
About this Root Beer. When I made this roast I didn't want to buy a 2 liter bottle, wouldn't use it all. I didn't want to buy a case and as luck would have it my grocery store had a section of micro brewed root beer! Who knew that there was micro brewed root beer? Not me. I thought the name of the root beer was really cool and the bottle looked cool. One sip and I knew that the stuff was super good. I don't know who Virgil is, but his Mother would be proud. I did come to the conclusion that a good quality root beer would be great because the cane sugar that is used really helped the roast. If you can only find or use A&W or Bargg's that will be great, too. Just use 16 oz.
Place the pork roasts in your crock pot and season with Lawry's seasoned salt or other favorite seasoning blend, I have several which I'll talk about in a post. Pour the root beer over the roasts and place the lid on the crock pot. You can cook this roast on low 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. I put this on before we left the house, knowing we would be home around 5-6PM and it cooked all day. I'm no chemist, but I think the carbonation in the root beer, helps the meat tenderize. Anyone have an idea about this? I'd love to learn and know about the power of carbonation in tenderizing meats, everyone needs to learn something every day, huh?

When the roast is done it will look like this, on the left. The root beer has really reduced, the fat and tissues in the pork have broken down, you can see some of the fat which has released out of the roast on the edge. The meat is SUPER tender and moist.

At this point you will no longer need the root beer. Please do not feel the temptation to sip this root beer...let it go. Pork infused, reduced root beer would taste nasty. Place the pork on a plate pour off the root beer and then put the pork roasts back in the crock pot.
Using two forks, break up the pork roast, it will shred lickity split and very easily. This shouldn't take very long at all, maybe 3 minutes. I used the forks scissor like to shred the meat. It will look something like this when you are done shredding the meat. It's very moist and not dry at all. At this point pour in the barbecue sauce. I like my pork...saucy. You may not like your pulled pork with as much sauce, but I think it's worth a shot the first time. Ok, brace yourself. Get ready. Grab a Kleenex...no get the box you may just tear up when you see this beautiful dish come together.

I serve this on buttered and toasted buns. This is sweet, tangy, tender, juicy, and so delicious. You can turn the Crock Pot on warm or keep it on low to heat the pulled pork up.
I made this recipe when our church preschool asked me to cook for their annual Hoedown dinner. There were 400 people who came which meant I would need to cook over 200 pounds of pork. I didn't butter and toast the buns. I did make from scratch cole slaw and potato salad. In case you are curious you have to peel 100 pounds of potatoes to feed 400 people. I'm sure there were folks who didn't like the pulled pork, but many people loved it a lot.
Give it a try, you'll love it, your family will love it, and people will casually call you and invite you over to a party and when you say, "what can I bring?" They will immediately say, "how about that pulled pork." It's that good.

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