Ever have a recipe come around that literally changes the way you look at food? Or at least that food? I did! And it changed the way I look at pulled pork forever…
Our friends, Roman and Irena (yes they are fellow Ruski’s and no not all my friends are Ruski’s) had invited us over for a Memorial Day BBQ/House warming party at their newly purchased and redecorated house. I was expecting the typical…some kebabs, a few salads and lots of mojitos, as Roman reigns as the mojito champion. Constantly recreating mojito flavors that leave you refreshed and seriously buzzed, the ultimate backyard BBQ combination…except when you have a rampant 18 month old running wild. Point taken. I put the mojito down and chased after my munchkin attempting to work off the mojito haze already in progress.
Ahh but as always I digress. Apparently, as the boys grilled, they realized that the flames were not as strong as they should be and something must be off. And it was off. Their monster grill was producing one pathetic flame that was barely enough to sear a marshmellow. Geniuses forgot to check the fuel gauge and we were out of propane.
And so all of the boys set out to get a new propane tank…apparently it takes 4 big guys to get one 20 pound propane tank.
In the meantime, the girls mingled, sipped mojitos and sangria and chatted. I noticed a smell permeating the air that was both sweet and savory. Irena decided to make a crock pot pulled pork juuuuuust in case. Rightfully so because at this point the odds of getting grilled foods were not looking too high.
I told her I loved pulled pork but I hate how fatty pork butts are.
***Time for a mini butchering lesson. The pork butt is actually not the butt of the pig it is a part of the shoulder. It is typically good for long cooking methods like smoking and braising. It has a great deal of fat on it and a lot of tendons…but when it cooks for a long time it all melts down and is heaven. Fatty, pork heaven.***
Then she told me that she used the big piece of pork loin roast from Costco. Well there is a revelation! Lean pork used for pulled pork? Never heard of that…
Irena mentioned that all she did was throw it into the crock pot, cover with root beer and let it go on low for 7.5 hours.
Look I will be honest. I was not at all expecting this pulled pork to be the moist, savory goodness that it happened to be. I expected dry and overly sweet stringy meat. But this was AMAZING. And the fact that I had no guilt eating it was an even bigger winner!
I set out to Costco the very next day to recreate this dish…Except I forgot the root beer. Nice. I pulled a classic Mila.
I did however have a fridge of Angry Orchard Hard Cider.
I figured if apple sauce goes so well with pork why wouldn’t hard apple cider. It did guys. It sooooo did.
I threw the pork in with one large onion and covered it 3/4 of the way with the cider. I cooked it for 7.5 hours overnight. And it came out amazingly. Minimal fat. And easily shredable. (is that a word?) I actually placed it in the fridge right after it was cooked and shredded it that night after work.
I took two forks and then started shredding it.
Then I just decided to use my hands instead and ended up with perfect shreds.
And you cannot have pulled pork without smokey BBQ sauce. So that’s what I did…Gave it some KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce and threw it all back in the pot to warm up and get all smothery. (again not sure if this is a word…but it sounds particularly fitting.)
By the way, I left the onions in there because hubby loves smothered onions on his sammies.
And then I ate.
And it was fabulous! Sweet and tangy. And the cider gave it that “I can’t quite put my finger on it” flavor.
But the best part…I did not feel guilty. Not one bit. And neither will you.
See…I even threw it on one of those thin buns.
- 1 5 pound pork loin (not the tenderloins)
- 3 bottles of Angry Orchard Cider or enough to cover the roast almost to the top
- 1 large onion roughly chopped.
- 1 cup of KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce
- Add the pork into a crockpot with one large onion and covered it ¾ of the way with the cider.
- Cook it for 7.5 hours overnight.
- I actually placed it in the fridge right after it was cooked and shredded it that night after work. It was much easier to shred. If you cannot cool it completely, at least let it cool so you can handle it with your hands.
- I took two forks and then started shredding it. You can use your hands as well.
- I left the onions in there because hubby loves smothered onions on his sammies.
- Serve up on its own, or on bread or even in tacos, qusadillas...the possibilities are endless!