I’ve already confessed my love of cooking related catalogues, especially the ones with recipes. I think it’s completely an offshoot of my love for magazines. And the catalogues are actually a really good thing, because then I get a hit of glossy love without the guilt of an actual magazine, which I feel compelled to hang on to for a few months (or longer it seems, from the stacks of magazines in my living room). I can flip through a catalogue and then toss it in the recycling, guilt free!
So it should not come as any surprise that when I sorted the ginormous pile of mail that waited for us after our return from VA Beach (seriously how many credit card solicitations do two people need over what was essentially a long weekend) I pulled out the Williams Sonoma and King Arthur catalogues for later perusal.
When going through WS, I was intrigued by how many of their recipes used this, my ultimate crockpot love and all time most ridiculous kitchen purchase. It’s not ridiculous because I don’t use it, but more because we often don’t use it to it’s fullest potential. Like direct oven to crockpot action.
I made a mental note of the pulled pork recipe, but no actual plans to cook it. And then suddenly it was sunday and I was at the farmer’s market. I wandered over to Truck Patch Farms to buy some bacon, and suddenly I was asking the lady manning the coolers what cut of meat I should buy to make pulled pork. She pulled about the appropriate cut and soon I was walking away with it. Less than 12 hours later, I was eating a delicious pulled pork sandwich. Perfection in a sunday!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Adapted from Bryan Voltaggio’s Recipe in the Williams Sonoma catalogue
I made a lot of adaptions to this recipe because 1) I only had 6 hours to cook 2) I was missing a bunch of the spices needed for the rub 3) I had no apple juice. But this still turned out amazing, so I think I’m keeping my alterations!
1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbs. kosher salt
2 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbs. cayene pepper
2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 pork shoulder, 3 to 4 lb.
6 garlic cloves, peeled (we used the chopped up refrigerated garlic)
1 1/2 cups beer (we used Clipper City’s Heavy Seas)
1/2 cup water
Dinner Rolls or baguette for serving
barbecue sauce for serving
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, thyme, coriander, dried mustard, fennel and garlic powder. Score a diamond pattern on the fatty side of the pork. Generously rub the pork on all sides with 6 to 8 Tbs. of the spice mixture; reserve the remaining mixture. Place the pork in the bottom of an oven safe dish (or crockpot insert) fat side up. Cover with garlic.
Transfer to the oven and roast until the top of the pork starts to crisp, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base and add the beer and water. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions, turning the pork occasionally, until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork, 6 to 7 hours.
Transfer the pork to a deep bowl. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart into large shreds or, using a cleaver, chop it into large chunks. Strain the cooking sauce into a bowl. Ladle 1/2 to 3/4 cup sauce over the pork. Stir in 1 to 2 tsp. of the reserved spice mixture. Serve immediately with rolls and barbecue sauce. Serves 6 to 8.