"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, than so is the ballet."
I've made this a few times, using differing methods, but this is my favorite, by miles. Many people make pulled pork in the crock pot with a bottle of barbeque sauce, and I like it (you can hardly ruin pulled pork!), but I LOVE this particular preparation. I first had it this way at a restaurant in Tampa, Florida called Marlin Darlin's. After that experience I only ever wanted my pulled pork done in the oven so you get those dark ends. Slow cooking the rubbed roast in the oven allows for an amazing crust to form. That's my favorite part and it cannot be duplicated in a crock pot. You may think it would dry it out, but in my experience, it hasn't at all. You can FINISH it in the crock pot, or heat up the leftovers in there with some extra barbecue sauce, but starting it in the oven is imperative to creating that wonderful dark, spicy, crust. This is great served on a bun with cole slaw and pickles, or plated with a side of Cuban black beans and Sriracha sauce on the side, JUST like I had it at Marlin Darlin's. Ah, I love recreating a memorable meal at home!
The barbecue sauce was originally from my sister-in-law, Noreen. Given to me many years ago, it has become the most beloved home-made barbecue sauce of our family. Over the years I've tweaked it here and there, but minimally, and the taste is true to the original.
The cole slaw recipe is from my mother and is the one I grew up on. The Mister and I are addicted to it and make it at least once a week, often topping a plate-full with a piece of fish for a low-carb meal. It keeps great for 3 days.
My Favorite Fall-Apart Tender, Slow-Roast Pork and Cole Slaw
An Irish Mother original recipe
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 4-5 pound pork shoulder
My Favorite Barbecue Sauce:
2/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 cup butter
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
4 cups shredded cabbage (I cut by hand)
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion (or diced red onion)
1/2 cup diced green pepper
It is best to apply the rub the night before and let the roast sit (refrigerated) overnight, but it will still come out good if you apply it up to one hour before you cook it.
In a small bowl, stir together all rub ingredients.
Apply rub very liberally all over roast, massaging in as much of it as you can.
Allow roast to come to room temperature for a half hour. Place on a roasting pan and bake in a 300 degree (F) oven for about 7 hours, basting occasionally, until it is fall-apart tender (usually when it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees.)
NOTE: At this point you have a lot of leeway. I have started it in the morning in the oven for 6 hours to form a crust and then transferred it to a crock-pot with a small amount (about one-fourth) of the barbecue sauce to keep it warm until dinner time (even for several hours). You could also choose to slow roast it at 275 degrees overnight, pull it, store it and heat it up later when you get home from work. It's very versatile and you can easily adapt the recipe to what works for your lifestyle. Gotta love that!
While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce:
In a medium saucepan, combine the listed ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring now and then for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the cole slaw dressing ingredients, cover and refrigerate so the flavors can marry for at least an hour.
When the pork is done, transfer to a platter, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. While the pork is still warm, you need to "pull" the meat.
Using two forks, pull hunks of meat off the roast and shred them with the forks, discarding fat and bones. Put the shredded pork into a crockpot, pour half of the barbecue sauce over, stir together and keep warm on a low setting until you're ready for dinner.
To make cole slaw:
In a large bowl, mix together the shredded green cabbage, carrot, onion and pepper. Toss with the dressing you made earlier.
Serve the pulled pork on a sturdy bun with cole slaw on top, or on the side. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!!!