Pulled pork is always a hit at dinnertime in our house, and luckily it’s among the easiest things to make, especially in the slow cooker. A few minutes’ prep in the morning, and we can eat within minutes of walking in the door at the end of the day. This classic pulled pork is made with pork shoulder, an inexpensive cut made meltingly tender by the long, slow cooking time. I like to buy a big one – leftovers freeze very well, or make great sandwiches to bring to work or school for lunch the next day. Sometimes I skip the soft buns and make a batch of biscuits – or cheese biscuits, if I’m in a particularly indulgent mood – to split and serve the pulled pork on.
Another great thing about a slow cooker full of pulled pork: everyone can serve themselves at different times, according to their schedules, and dinner will always be hot and ready to go.
Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
adapted from Canadian Living
3-1/2 lb (1.75 kg) pork shoulder roast
salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 14 oz/398 mL can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. each packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
soft rolls, for serving
barbecue sauce, for serving
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and brown pork on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the onions, garlic, chili powder and bay leaves to the pan and saute for a few minutes, loosening any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Add 1/4 cup water to help loosen all the flavorful bits and pour everything over the pork in the slow cooker.
Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until pork is very tender. With two forks, shred or “pull” pork. Pour off excess liquid if there is too much, and add a few shakes of barbecue sauce to moisten. Serve warm, on split buns or biscuits, with additional barbecue sauce passed at the table.