A slow cooker is a brilliant thing to have. Of all the dishes that do well from a long, slow cooking time, pulled pork is perhaps my favourite – pork shoulder is inexpensive, yet incredibly flavourful once the tough connective tissues are given a chance to melt with time and heat. An afternoon spent in the slow cooker is perfect – when you get home from work (or before the party – pulled pork is great for feeding a crowd) all you need to do is shred the meat with two forks and douse it in barbecue sauce.
Whatever it is you’re cooking in the slow cooker, browning meat first will add plenty of flavour to the finished dish. If it’s a big piece, or has an awkward shape – like a bone-in leg of lamb, feel free to take it outside and give it some colour on the barbecue. If you don’t have time to give it a quick sear, just toss the meat in and it will be just fine.
Since pulled pork is perfect for feeding a crowd (especially in a slow cooker, which can keep it warm and allows guests to self-serve), a larger roast will feed more, or cook two roasts in the slow cooker at once if it’s big enough to accommodate them.
The whole process, as you’ll see below, could not be easier.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
1 3-5 lb. pork shoulder (with bone or without)
canola or olive oil
1 Tbsp. dry barbecue spice rub or other seasoning blend
1 cup barbecue sauce
6-10 soft buns
creamy coleslaw (optional)
Pat the pork roast dry with a paper towel, drizzle it with oil and rub all over with your fingers to coat. Sprinkle with spice blend and massage that in as well. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil to the pan and brown the meat on all sides, turning it as necessary.
Transfer it to a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the lid, pull the meat apart with two forks, pour barbecue sauce overtop and toss to coat. Serve pulled pork on split buns with creamy coleslaw, if you like.
Serves 6-10; a larger roast fill feed more.