Friday, October 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Coke Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Coke Pulled Pork, often called Three Ingredient Pulled Pork, because it's typically made with a pork roast, barbecue sauce and most often, either Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper or root beer. Pictured here with homemade fries and my Apple Coleslaw

Slow Cooker Coke Pulled Pork

I know, I know, it's supposed to be Fall, well... according to the calendar at least, that is. Although we got another nice blast of slightly cooler air again this week here in the Deep South, blink and we're right back into mid to upper-80 degree temps during the days and, well... it's still hurricane season for us anyway. It's pretty much still summer here, far as we're concerned. The nice parts of summer though, that we love so much here - beautiful blue, sunny skies and warm temperatures - but with that highly coveted lower humidity. Finally come out of the house without melting, nice to be outdoors weather!

Honestly the weather is flat out gorgeous right now y'all - perfect for our big annual Cruisin' the Coast event starting Sunday. If you're a classic car buff and you've never been, you really should make a trip down to check it out! It's a very big deal along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and a site to see.

Photo Credit: Crusin' the Coast
Anyway, while we love this time of year here along the Coast, unlike many of you who are actually getting a real taste of Fall, we're still a bit hesitant to get real excited just yet about apple and pumpkin desserts, or soups and stews. Now, pulled pork? Yeah, I can get behind that anytime of the year, and besides... it's always a great addition to those football parties anyway, right?

I titled this recipe 'Slow Cooker "Coke" Pulled Pork,' but, if you're from The South, you know what that means.

Couple goes to KFC while out on errands. Wife tells her husband she would like a pot pie and a coke and her husband waits for the order while she grabs a booth. He hollers from across the room:
"Hun, whatdayawanna drink?
   A coke please.
What kind of coke?
They don't have Coke.
  Okay, then Dr Pepper.
They don't have Dr Pepper. They have Pepsi.
   Okay {sigh}, Pepsi then."
True story. Yes, that, in fact was me and The Cajun when we stopped at a KFC while out and about on errands recently. If you're a Southerner you understand this "what kind of coke" conversation completely. Pretty good pot pie too by the way - first time I've ever had a KFC pot pie. I am so fast food sheltered. Well, you couldn't tell it from my ... well, nevermind.

Where were we? Oh... in the interest of full disclosure, I'm not really in the Pepsi generation. I'm more a 'like to teach the world to sing' Co-Cola gal, and have been my whole life, but in the absence of a good ole genuine Coca-Cola, I will take a Dr Pepper. Or a Pepsi ... if I have no other choice. Coca-Cola is indeed King in the Deep South, but if you live where I'm from, your coke of choice just might be a Barq's root beer, in the bottle.

Because Deep South Dish is visited by folks from all over the U.S. and, even the world, I don't generally tend to use the term "coke" quite as loosely here on the site as we do regionally in our virtual lives - and though it pains me to have to say soft drink, I know y'all know what I mean when I say that - where the generic term of coke would probably just confuse everybody. Just know that When in The South, the term "coke" might mean Coca-Cola, but it could mean Dr Pepper or even root beer... the three most commonly used cokes at my house for this pulled pork recipe. In fact, the pork pictured here was made with Dr Pepper, and while some folks have ventured off into other flavors, those are the top three for me. They are all equally good.

So enough of the foodlore about our use of the word coke. Hey, we've got our ways, us Southerners and about all I can say about that is, well, if you're not from here, just get here as fast as you can!

This is a recipe that's been around for years, and is often referred to as three ingredient pulled pork, since the base is simply pork, some kind of coke and some kind of sauce to finish it with - pretty much a 'dump and go' recipe. Y'all ought to know by now that I rarely leave well enough alone though, right? Not that I like to randomly add ingredients just to trip y'all up or anything like that - I just like bumping up the flavor is all!

Here's how to make it.

Firstly {is that a real word? I don't really know - I just wanted to say it!}, I like to season and sear the meat. Just a little salt, pepper and Cajun will do it, but use your favorite pork rub, or whatever you want. This piece was bone-in and I cut it up around the bones to make it fit better in my pot.

Scatter some onion on top. Not a massive amount, just enough for some flavor.

I also like to combine the coke with a little barbecue sauce to add some more flavor to the pork along with the coke.

Cover and let it go all day. Or about 8 to 10 hours. Uncooked on the left, cooked on the right.

Here's that neat shredding tip you may have seen making the rounds on the internet thanks to Pinterest. Dump the chunks of meat into your stand mixer.

And, using the paddle attachment, beat it on low a few seconds until it's shredded. It's a cool tip really... if you don't mind having to clean the stand mixer. Truthfully, I usually just dump the meat into the container I intend to serve or store it in, grab tongs and a fork and get to work pulling the meat.

Sauce it up and dig in!

Recipe: Slow Cooker "Coke" Pulled Pork

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 10 hours | Yield: About 8 to 10 servings

  • 1 (4 to 6 pound) pork butt or shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced (about a cup)
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans of Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper or root beer
  • 1 cup of homemade or commercial barbecue sauce, plus more for dressing

Cut meat into large pieces to fit the slow cooker, if needed. Season all over with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning; rub in. Sear in oil, then add to slow cooker, scatter onions on top. Mix the root beer, Dr Pepper or Coke with 1 cup of barbecue sauce and pour over and around the pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until meat is tender and shreds easily. Shred the meat, toss with additional barbecue sauce or serve the sauce on the side.

Cook's Notes: I used a 6 quart slow cooker. Cooking time will be dependent on the size roast you use and whether it is bone-in or boneless. If possible, turn the meat every few hours. Pork butt or shoulder is always the least expensive and most flavorful cut to use for pulled pork, although it is possible to substitute a pork loin in the crockpot. It is a much leaner cut however, and the result will be more dry and less flavorful than a butt or shoulder. Can also use this recipe with beef roast or chicken; adjust cooking times as needed.

Tip: If you have the time, transfer some of the drippings to a large pot and boil until reduced at least by half. Skim off any fat and use the reduction to flavor the shredded meat.


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Posted by on October 5, 2012
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