Anyway, the other day I was listening to "The Spendid Table" on NPR and there was a guy talking about how you can make decent pulled pork barbecue in a crock-pot. His recipe included liquid smoke, which he explained is actually an all natural product actually made from smoke and wood. However, it upsets some people's stomachs, so I thought I'd try to make it without.
While nothing like the slow smoked, delicious barbecue we get in Texas, this is a very easy, economical way to make pulled pork and it is quite tasty. The best thing is I bought a 4.5lb. pork shoulder for $7.30 at the local market. Even after discarding the bone and fat, there was still about 3lbs. of delicious, tender pork. If you do the math, that's about $2.40/lb-- about 1/3 the price of purchased pulled pork.
Crock Pot "Pulled Pork"
1 4.5-5lb. pork shoulder roast
1 large onion, sliced thickly
3 T. salt
1 T. garlic powder
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. paprika
1 or 2 bay leaves
Your favorite barbecue sauce
Lime wedges (optional)
Mix all the seasonings together except the bay leaves. Rub the pork roast all over with the mixture. Place the onions in the bottom of the crock pot. Place the roast on top and lay the bay leaves on the roast. Pour in about 1/4 c. water down the side of the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Take the roast out and let it cool a bit. With two forks, pull the roast apart (this will be easy) and discard the fat and bone. You can shred the meat a lot or a little, whatever you prefer.
Pour the liquid from the crockpot into a big Pyrex measuring cup. Skim off any fat. Put the shredded meat into the empty crockpot and pour about 1 c. of the liquid over it. Stir gently. Pour in the barbecue sauce to taste (some people like a lot, some a little). You can serve more sauce on the side.
You can make sandwiches with this on hamburger buns or just serve the meat as is with a squirt of lime over it (optional-- but I think it's delicious!). You will have a lot of meat. This freezes just fine also.
P.S. I didn't take a photo, but pulled pork isn't that photogenic anyway. However, it is yummy!