A slow cooked pork shoulder is one of my favorite roasts to make. I’m talking FAV-O-RITE! It’s a cut that’s incredibly versatile in itself, and when it’s slow cooked with some simple spices, it still is. I’ve reinvented pork roast leftovers into carnitas tacos, chile verde, an Asian inspired stir-fry, an Italian ragu, and even soup!
The first thing I made with this freshly cooked roast was South Carolina barbeque inspired pulled pork, which consisted of shredded meat doused in a vinegar-mustard sauce made from the cooking liquid. For this, I turned to my slow cooker.
Basic Pulled Pork:
- 3-4 lb. pork shoulder (either boneless or bone-in works. I used a bone-in roast.)
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2-3 bay leaves
- brown sugar (optional)
- paprika (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander (optional)
- 1/4 cup vinegar (or any cooking liquid of your choice. I recommend vinegar/citrus because the acid helps tenderize.)
If you are paranoid about extra fat on the meat, trim it off, but DO keep some on there, as it will help keep the meat moist and flavorful.
Generously salt and pepper all surfaces of the roast. If you are using them, also rub about 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar and a few shakes of paprika over the roast. Set the meat aside to do a short marinade while you prep the veggies. Slice the onions, crush the garlic.
Take your onion slices and scatter them over the bottom of the pot. Throw in your garlic, bay leaves, and about half of your herbs. Set the roast on top of the vegetables. Top the roast with the remainder of the herbs and pour the vinegar over the roast.
Put the lid on it and cook it on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-7, or until the meat falls apart easily with a fork.
When it’s done, and you’ve been salivating from the wonderful smell for at least an hour, take out the roast and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
Proceed to SHRED.
Once you’ve shredded it, you’re basically done. Eat it as it, or put a sauce on it. I chose to use up the lovely porky cooking liquid and make a sauce.
South Carolina inspired sauce:
- Whatever’s leftover in the pot (EXCEPT the bay leaves. TOSS THEM!)
- a few tablespoons of mustard powder
- 1/2 cup or more of vinegar
- a touch of honey (optional)
Pour whatever you have left in a blender. Blitz!
Add in the mustard powder, vinegar, and honey. Blitz!
Pour into a saucepan and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. As it’s reducing, feel free to adjust seasoning to your taste.
Plate it, and eat!
Served up with an arugula-heirloom tomato salad and potatoes au gratin: