Hello, lovely readers. I just had to take a break from our home remodel projects that have had me on somewhat of a blogging hiatus as of late to share with you this delectable pulled pork recipe. Seriously. The family is so, so into this rockin' pulled pork sandwich recipe right now. (I'm being asked to make it yet again this weekend.)
I don't typically allow the kids to drink much soda unless we're out to dinner somewhere or it's a special occasion. And, I'm pretty much a strict water and iced tea drinker. I do buy pop, however, off and on for the hubby to take along to work. I had one lone can of root beer hiding in the back of the fridge that he hadn't drank, so I decided to put it to use making pulled pork.
I had recently tried out a new barbeque sauce recipe (recipe at bottom of post) that I've fallen in love with. It is perfect for this recipe. You can simply use your favorite store-bought barbeque sauce (make sure it is a good-quality one), but I so, so encourage you to whip up the homemade version below. It's a dump-everything-into-one-pot kind of recipe and is super easy.
Now, here's the fabulous thing about this recipe ... you don't even have to sear the pork on the stove top prior to getting it started in the slow cooker. Literally, just a few basic ingredients get tossed into the slow cooker insert to get this going. So, it's perfect for rushed, busy mornings.
If you'd like your pulled pork a little crisp and caramelized, I've included the simple instructions for achieving that result at the end of the recipe. It's a totally optional step, but one that I find really takes these sammies over the top!
Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork
1 pork roast (around 2- 2 1/2 pounds is best)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 onion, chopped finely
3/4 can root beer
3 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 cup barbeque sauce (recipe for a homemade version is below)
6 - 8 buns
Set the pork roast into the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Sprinkle with the salt. Sprinkle the chopped onions around the roast. Pour in the root beer and liquid smoke. Lid and cook on low for around 8 hours (or until meat is tender and easily shredded with a fork).
Transfer pork to a large bowl and shred meat with two forks. Add in about 1 cup of barbeque sauce (reserve any remaining sauce if you've made the homemade version for time of serving) and toss to coat. Transfer shredded pork back into the slow cooker. Increase temperature to high and allow flavors to blend for about thirty additional minutes - with lid off - prior to serving on hamburger buns. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
OPTIONAL STEP TO ACHIEVE CARAMELIZATION OF PULLED PORK: After completing the final step of the recipe above, heat up a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Spray lightly with non-stick spray. Place a good amount (about as much as you plan on eating/serving immediately) of the prepared, shredded pork into the hot pan. Allow pork to get a little caramelized and crisp around the edges while stirring occasionally. This should only take a few minutes. Serve immediately on hamburger buns.
NOTE: The best way I've found to serve these sandwiches is to pile the seared pork onto my rolls (I prefer Kaiser rolls), top with the top bun, wrap the sandwiches individually in foil (not too tightly), place them onto the middle rack of a 350 degree oven for about 7 - 10 minutes, then serve.
Bonus Homemade Barbeque Sauce Recipe
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional - omit if you don't prefer the spiciness)
Combine all ingredients into a medium sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer. Allow to cook while thickening for about 15 - 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Use right away or allow to cool, then store in a sealed container in the fridge until needed. If making this sauce for the above pulled pork recipe, allow the sauce to come to room temperature prior to combining with the shredded pork if it's been stored in the fridge.