We are finally in the heart of Spring with Summer not far behind. I, for one, am happy to be spending a little more time outdoors, walking my dog, and enjoying the extra daylight hours. And, I don't know about you but something happens to me when I smell the first cut blades of grass and the smell of flowers and trees in bloom...I am overcome with a sudden need for barbecue. Somehow, the thought of barbecue doesn't even cross my mind during the winter, but come spring I must have it!
Some of my favorite recipes, and most-requested, occur during these warmer days. And, one of my new favorites just happens to be for pulled pork barbecue sandwiches. They are perfect if you're planning a get together with friends. Not only are they tasty, they are super easy to prepare. How easy? Crock pot easy.
I know there are those people who enjoy their barbecue on the drier side, like say using a dry rub and smoking slowly all day. There are others who love the hickory flavors of a wet barbecue sauce. Then there are those, like me, who literally salivate over the nasal opening power of vinegary Carolina barbecue. When I was growing up in Alabama, we frequently ate from a restaurant that served some of the best pulled pork sandwiches I can remember. In fact, I think the name of the restaurant was, creative-enough, Carolina Barbecue. No, we were not in one of the Carolinas, but I guess the state of Alabama adopted the Carolinas as one of the inspirations for their barbecue flavors.
In my search to satisfy a bit of aromatic nostalgia from my childhood, I wanted to recreate those pulled pork sandwiches. I came up with a recipe so simple and tasty that you will seriously be thanking me when you throw your first party this spring. Well, you might not exactly be thinking of me, but you will be thinking that this recipe is a god-send.
The most simple part of the recipe comes by way of slow-cooking your pork in the crock pot. The pork goes in early in the day, mix up your marinade, pour it on top, and cook the lovely thing in your slow cooker all day long. When it's done, just shred the meat, pour on the barbecue sauce, and there you go!
Shredded meat using just two forks
We like to eat our pulled pork on slider buns with one pickle in between the buns. Feel free to eat it on a regular-sized bun or no bread at all. And, if you're loving the taste of the barbecue sauce, it is definitely versatile for barbecuing any other meats. It's my mom's special recipe and will put any bottled sauces to shame. It's perfect on chicken breasts, pork chops, and ribs.
Mom's Barbecue Sauce
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Ingredients for the Pulled Pork:
1 3-5 pound Boston Butt or boneless Pork Shoulder
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Ingredients for the Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Tobasco to taste
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 stick butter (optional)
1. Chop your onion for the pulled pork and place in your crock pot. Put your pork shoulder or butt on top of the onions.
2. In a small bowl, combine all of your remaining ingredients. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the marinade on top of the pork in the crock pot.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
4. For the bbq sauce: combine all of your ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cook on medium just to the point of boiling and then turn off the heat.
5. In a large bowl, using two forks, shred the cooked pork. It should tear apart easily with your forks. Pour the barbecue sauce into the bowl and mix the sauce and pork together. Pour most of the marinade in the crock pot out and cook the pulled pork with the barbecue in the crock pot for 30 more minutes.