Sunday's Best Pulled Pork

June 18, 2012 4:30 PM EDT | By Staff Writer
Pulled Pork
Did you know that you can make perfect pulled pork while you do a million other things? (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

How much work does it take to pull pulled pork?

I used to ask myself that question every time I ordered a helping of the stuff at barbecue joints famous for serving up sweet and tangy orders of pig day-after-day. It seemed incredibly difficult: you'd have to shred the pork by hand, flavor it perfectly, cook it with some ancient family technique for just the right amount of time, and then serve it up just right. The whole process made me anxious.

Then I did some research, and learned that there's probably not an easier or more satisfying way to cook barbecue than by making a big batch of pulled pork and eating it throughout the week.

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This could technically count as a Recession Eat, considering how cheap and easy it is. You can prepare it while you're at work, or even when you're fussing around your house. And there's no meat shredding necessary: it's called 'pulled pork' because the pork gets slow-cooked to such tender perfection that you can literally pull it apart.

1. Choosing your cut of meat.

Obviously, it has to be pork. The only question here is which part of the pig it should be?

Most recipes recommend a pork tenderloin, which can get just a little pricy, but I like to go with a cheap cut of pork. Being filipino, I'll always err towards pork shoulder for my cooking. It's incredibly cheap, it holds up well when slow cooked, and it's super flavorful. Plus, it's about a quarter of the price of pork tenderloin, and the taste at the end of the pulling process is exactly the same.

2. To barbecue or not to barbecue?

That is the question. If you're not barbecuing it, just follow the instructions below, substituting a vegetable or chicken stock instead of the sweet ingredients. You can even make your own stock by simmering carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in just enough water to cover it for about an hour or two.

Now, I don't like doing it this way. I like my barbecue nice and sweet.

3. To barbecue.

Here's what I do.

In a slow-cooker, I put two pounds of pork shoulder. I pour a bottle of the best root beer at the super market over it. You'll want to go with approximately twelve fluid ounces of root beer for every 2 pounds of pork.

I cook it for an hour on high, and then six-to-seven hours on low, until it breaks apart easily with a fork. Then, I drain and leave it as is or I serve it up with barbecue sauce.

It's done, and it's literally that easy. Enjoy!


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