September 7, 2013 by Lauren
It’s easy to love expensive, tender, and beautiful cuts of meat like tenderloins. The problem with those cuts is that they’re fussy. I much prefer hearty, regular-man’s cuts. They’re cheap, accessible, and SUPER flavorful. For this recipe I’ll be using a slow cooker. For years I hated slow cookers. I thought they were a cop out. But then I realized — it’s only because people use it improperly. You wouldn’t make s’mores using an electric oven. That’s silly. So only use slow cookers for things that need to involve moist, warm, slow environments. Also — don’t believe the hype. You can make some amazing things, but you aren’t going to magically get fried chicken. Beef chuck, pork shoulder and any slow cook protein will do much better in this environment. Also throw out your notion that slow cookers are “set it and forget it” machines. Sure, they can do that, but it won’t be super flavorful. A couple of before-hand steps (like browning) will take all your meals made in it to a new level.
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Slow Cooked Shredded PorkActive Cook Time: 15 minutes Inactive Cook Time: 6-8 hours
- 4lb Pork Shoulder (sometimes called Boston Butt)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup + chicken stock
- Olive oil
- Whisk the spices (save the bay leaves) together in a small bowl. Pat the roast dry and then rub in most of the spices all around the roast. Save about 1/4 of the mix.
- Heat up some olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sear the roast in the pan until brown. This will help build a crust and brown (“mmmmm”) flavor.
- Place the chicken stock and garlic in your slow cooker. Remove the roast once browned and place into the stock. Set the bay leaves around in the liquid and top the roast with the remaining spice mixture.
- Turn your slow cooker on low and cook for 6-8 hours. You can do high for 4-5 hours but the slower option yields more succulent flavors. Turn the roast a few times if you can and add more liquid if necessary. The roast is done when it falls apart as you turn it.
The best part of this pork is that you’re cooking a 4 lb. piece of meat. You’ll have some for your shredded pork tacos that night, some more for your bbq sandwiches, and more for freezing. Pour a little bit of chicken stock in with your pork and either food saver or freezer bag it. It freezes incredibly well.