Pulled Pork…Slow Cooked and Savory!

Yesterday I had a small 2lb Boston Butt cooking in the slow cooker all day. The house smelled absolutely wonderful! And every time I walked into the kitchen the Hounds came running thinking they may just get a tasty morsel of pork. “Ha! No pork for you!”

The day before, I removed the butt from the freezer and doused it with a 1/4 cup of dry rub. Then I rubbed on brown sugar mixed with dried cayenne peppers. I put it in a Ziploc bag and added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup water. I let this concoction marinate in the fridge for 24 hours, then the whole thing was dumped into the crock pot and cooked at 300F for 5 hours. Talk about delicious! I have received rave reviews on my pulled pork, and being this is North Carolina, folks here take their pulled pork very seriously so I am always flattered by the compliments.

Normally I would use a 5-6 lb butt in the crock pot but the last one I bought was huge so I had to cut this 2lb portion off to fit in the pot. Also, I always like to have the bone in it and it should have a nice layer of fat on one side. Cook it with the fat layer up to keep the meat nice and moist. This little 2lb nub had the fat, but alas, no bone. It still came out great.

As far as the rub, there are some common ingredients in all rubs, such as garlic and onion powder, paprika and cayenne. Since I am doing this in a crock pot and not actually “smoking” it, I like to add a little ground cumin and chipotle which gives it a smoky flavor.

Once it is cooked and pulled, Lexington style barbecue sauce is added to it before serving to give it that North Carolina touch I love so much. Most southerners know there are two kinds of barbecue sauce-the vinegar based and the tomato based. I prefer the vinegar style, but it is really all about personal taste. Feel free to add the sauce of your liking!

Slow Cooked Pork...

Slow Cooked Pork…

After several hours of wonderful aromas and being followed by the Hounds, this is what I had for dinner last night. Pulled pork, coleslaw and baked beans. I think the beans look like “poo” on the plate, but hey, you gotta learn, right? The beans were cooked from scratch but then I left them in the oven too long and they dried out. Still delicious, but not so visually appealing. Oh well. Live and learn. The best thing was the pulled pork, absolutely delicious!

So, get a Boston butt, follow the recipes below and have a memorable Memorial Day! You won’t be disappointed.

Til’ next time…

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork:

5-6 lb. Boston Butt, bone in

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup spice rub

1/2 cup brown sugar/cayenne rub

Place butt in a pan with high sides (at least 2 inches). Sprinkle 1/2 cup of spice rub (recipe below) all over butt and work it in with your hands. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar cayenne rub (recipe below) all over butt and work it in with your hands. Place butt in a Ziploc bag and add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Allow to marinate for at least 8 hrs or up to 24 hrs.

Empty entire contents of bag into slow cooker and cook on 300F for 6-8 hrs, or until pork butt can easily be pulled away from bone. Remove to cutting board and shred pork using two forks. Add Lexington barbecue sauce (recipe below) to taste and serve as desired. On buns with coleslaw is so delicious, or just the pork with a side or two will do! Enjoy…

Spice Rub:

1 tbsp. chipotle powder

1 tbsp. cumin powder

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. paprika

1 tbsp. ground mustard

Brown Sugar Rub:

1 cup light brown sugar

2 tbsp. cayenne flakes

Lexington Style Vinegar Sauce:

2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tbsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. red chili flakes, or to taste


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