09 April 2010

The Contraption: Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches


I'm not sure what I can say about this one. Last month's successful ribs experiment made me hopeful that my slow cooker wasn't an unfortunate acquisition.

Now, I'm back to doubting things.

After hearing a number of people tell me how delicious their slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches are, I thought that would be an excellent next adventure with the contraption.

Well...not so much. My friend lent me her copy of Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes as she swears by its pulled pork recipe. Rootbeer, onions garlic and chili sauce (not chili as in the spicy hot chilli sauce you find in Vietnamese or Thai restaurants, but the uber sweet "daring" ketchup). The result?


No doubt the meat was juicy. In and of itself it was an incredibly tender roast...but as far as a pulled pork sandwich goes, it was...meh.

(And yes, I concede that I photographed sliced meat versions, not pulled meat versions).

I found the sauce in combination with the root beer braised meat far too sweet and uninspired. And that's me being kind.

So...where to go with this?

Given that pulled pork sandwiches are one of the few things with which the cafeteria can tempt me, I want to try this again, but with a tastier sauce.

So if you have a slow cooked pulled pork recipe you are willing to send me, please do. Assuming I get more than one, I'll select one and prepare it for another contraption post. Simply share it in comments or email me at cardamomaddict at gmail dot com.

Thanks in advance.

Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

serves 8-10

1.5kg (3lb) pork roast, trimmed of excess fat
oil, for frying
2 onions, slivered
1L (4c) root beer (not diet), divided
6 cloves minced garlic
250ml (1c) chili sauce (as mentioned in the post)
1-2 Tbsp chilli-garlic sauce

Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and sear on all sides.

Transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Add the onions, garlic and 250ml (1c) root beer. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hrs or high for 4-5 hrs.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by reducing 750ml (3c) rootbeer, chilli sauce and the hot sauce, by reducing the volume by half, so you get about 2 cups of sauce.

When the meat is done, shred the meat with two forks and toss in the sauce. Serve on buns with the onions that the pork was cooked in.


I'm a quill for hire!

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

How disappointing. Noone likes a pile of meh in their sandwich :(

I've only done pulled pork once, but it was a great success! Just as well, seeing as I made about 20 tonne of it. My recipes are here... http://holdthebeef.blogspot.com/2009/11/pull-my-pork.html

Good luck in your future pork endeavours!

Deb said...

Hi there! I feel the same way about slow cookers you do. However, the most successful recipes I've used are ones have real, flavorful ingredients instead of condiments. I realize those recipes serve the purpose of making a fast meal someone can throw together with what is on hand, but for me they just taste strange and usually mushy. That beind said, I've had this recipe that I found on Epicurious that I haven't tried but sounds like the real deal:


Joanne said...

Hey chica! That is such a disappointment! I love crockpot pulled pork. I make mine with pork tenderloin but you can use shoulder. All I do is put a rub on it, then throw it in slow cooker with 1/4 cup water and some tabasco for eight hours, then take it out. Shred it. Mix with bbq sauce. One hour more. Done.

Here's the recipe for the rub and homemade sauce that I use: http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.blogspot.com/2010/01/texas-barbecue-sauce-pulled-pork-on.html

kamran siddiqi said...

Another one of my addictions- pork sandwiches. What's there not to love? Really great post, Jasmine!

Jenny said...

Ah pulled pork is one I do for the family, and simple to make. Brown your pork roast, your choice of kind, throw it in the slow cooker, and pour on a jar of a hot and flavorful salsa.
Makes Mexican style pulled pork, great for tortillas.

Joie said...

Crockpot pulled pork is most tasty when made with pork shoulder, as already mentioned. I like to coat mine with a rub (any rub. Last time I used Stubb's), then pop it in the cooker with at least 1c. cider vinegar. I use stock of some kind to get the liquid level at least half-way up the meat. Once done, typically 8h on low, remove and shred in a bowl. Add bbq sauce as you and other consumers see fit; Sweet Baby Ray's is a perennial fave. I will often add enough sauce to the bowl just to get a light coating, and let people add more to their individual servings. Vinegar, to me, is what makes barbecue, barbecue...

The Independent Rage said...

If you like those sandwiches, be sure to check out my Slimeball Sandwich. I invented it: http://independentrage.blogspot.com/2009/05/gingrich-blasts-pelosi-talk-about.html

JMP said...

I do a two-step pulled pork. It uses boneless ribs, and since I only have a tiny slow-cooker, I get a tiny package.

Ribs in crockpot. Add bottle of dark beer. If you need more liquid, add beef broth. Cook on high for about 4 hours.

Remove ribs and start shredding. (This is how you know it's done - it shreds when you try to take it out of the crockpot. I wouldn't be able to slice my pork.)

Once it's shredded, put in a foil-lined dish and mix in BBQ sauce until it looks...saucy. I always eyeball this. It goes in the oven at 350 F / 175 C for about half an hour. Add more sauce as needed on sandwich.

This may not be the most juicy, since I only have a tiny pot, but it works great.

(New reader - I was just looking for more cardamom recipes, like I always do after I make one of my too-few ones and I still smell like cardamom.)