I love pulled pork. It’s one of those things that when I go to an eatery and realize it’s on the menu, my eyes zero in on the words “pulled pork” and that’s what I’m ordering.
A few months ago, I had lunch with a good friend. A fella who also really loves to cook and eat. He asked me what I had been cooking lately and if I had any new recipes to share. I tried not to let my mouth drop open. I hadn’t been cooking much to be honest. His question caught me off guard. I didn’t have anything “new” to share. With life changes in the air, I was happy if I got a meal in. I did cook a few things, so I told him about my kebab recipe and how I’d made italian meatballs the other night. His face lit up as he talked about his latest favourite meat to make: pulled pork. He raved about how tasty and easy it was and how much people he could feed when he made it. Hearing that my friend made it, made me think maybe it was time I gave this a shot. haha
Lately, I’ve been pan frying fish and baking chicken with simple seasonings and having beef stews but I wanted something with more flavour. The thing that was bugging me was that there’s just so many ways to do pulled pork and I didn’t want to make a variation that was too sweet or too tangy for my liking. What’s a girl to do… I wanted it to be big on flavour and with a good amount of kick, I also didn’t want it to be sticky or sweet (at least for my first attempt). I also didn’t want this thing to dry out. I wanted to cook it low and slow in my handy slow cooker.
With all of these wants in mind, I googled “paleo pulled pork recipes” as I’ve been doing a paleo detox for the past few weeks and wanted to try as much as possible to avoid recipes that were full of bottled bbq sauces (usually has sugar in it) and I didn’t want to have to make a paleo bbq sauce as tasty as the recipes I’ve seen sound, I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of “active” time (active = me having to stand). Lazy? Yesss. At least this week, I’ve been feeling like I want to rest more.
I was ecstatic when I came across this easy pulled pork recipe by Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paleo. I adapted it based on what I had on hand and also decided to marinade and sear the pork before adding it to the slow cooker after reading about 5-7 other pulled pork recipes. I tend to do that for most recipes that I tackle. I can’t help but play around with it.
Note: Additions/Substitutions I made have an asterisk(*) after the word.
Ridiculously Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
- 3 lb pork butt roast* (made 6-7 servings)
- 1 white onion, diced*
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin*
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder*
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper*
- 2 tsps sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper*
- I had a 3 lb of pork butt whereas the original recipe called for a 4-5 lb pork butt but didn’t want to change the amounts of the spices (too much math for me at the time). So this recipe is good for a 4-5 lb pork butt as well.
- 1 White onion (diced). I figured since I had a smaller pork butt I would use just one onion and I just diced it out of habit. haha (can’t always follow instructions).
- Cumin: I ran out of cumn and only had 1 tsp left so I used half of what was called in the original recipe.
- Garlic Powder: I felt like I could use some garlic flavour to balance out the onion flavour so I added this.
- Cayenne: I wanted a spicy substitute for chipotle which I don’t own.
- Black pepper: Thought I’d throw this in for the heck of it.
1. Gather all of the dry rub ingredients and mix it into a bowl.
2. Rinse and pat dry your pork butt. Trim off as much fat as you can.
3. Rub the dry rub mixture all over the pork butt and get into all the crevices.
4. Optional (Marinade). Put the pork butt as well as any of the leftover spices into a big ziplock bag. Take out as much air as possible. Alternatively, you can wrap your pork butt tightly in saran wrap. I let mine marinade for 24 hours.
5. Optional (Searing). I put some olive oil in a pan large enough to fit the pork butt in. When the pan was hot, I seared the pulled pork on each side.
6. Put the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the pork butt. Optional: If you seared the pork, I put a bit of water into the pan to get the spices that were stuck to the pan into the slow cooker. Sarah’s recipe did not include any liquid.
7. Put the slow cooker on low for 10 hours.
8. After 10 hours, take out the pork butt and shred by using 2 forks to pull apart the meat. Remove any excess fat if you wish. When all the meat is shredded return to slow cooker and mix with remaining cooking juices.
9. Serve with any sides you like.
I felt really proud when I was done making this. I was really worried about dry unflavourful meat. I’ve been recently overcooking chicken – gross! So, I’m kind of sick of chicken – at least the way I make it (dry rub and baked). This pork was a welcome change and was total flavour country!! It was spicy… which I liked. After the first bite, I was already thinking of other possible flavour combinations. Perhaps a spicy Chinese version? Jamaican jerk one? mmm… spicy!! :)If my slow cooker was a person, I’d hug it. What a huge timesaver and helper in the kitchen. :)
Pork butt was also economical. This hunk of meat cost me less than the price of 2 chicken breasts.
How do you like to make your pulled pork? Do you like saucey or dry rubs? What do you put in yours? How do you serve it and what do you serve it with?
Let’s chat it up in the comments.