Occasionally life gets away from me. Time itself moves too quickly. Monday morning, alarm goes off, I grind through my routine. Jog to the stop to catch the bus downtown. Eat breakfast at my desk, slurp coffee, send email. Work work work, email email email. The day is over before I know what happened, and I'm back on the bus home. Before I've had time to think, four more such days have come and gone, and the weekend is here again. I question what I have really accomplished. I wonder what I can get done in two days, to make up for the five that seem to have slipped through my fingers.
Then Saturday is here, and I awake with a feeling of restlessness bordering on panic. An energy like high powered steam courses through me. I'm locomotive. I add some caffeine, and if you know what's good for you, you'll stay out of my way. Clean out the bookshelves, three boxes of books for donation. Clean out the closet; four bags of clothes I have compulsively kept for years, but do not wear. Clean the bathroom; floor to ceiling. Six loads of laundry. Grocery shopping. Vacuum, dust. My husband eyeballs me warily. He's doing his best to steer clear, lest there be a fiery wreck. I feel a little sorry for him. A little.
After all that I needed a treat, so I went shopping for kitchen stuff. I've been meaning to get a new crock pot for a while, and figured this was a good time. I knew I wasn't going to be in the mood for a complicated recipe that weekend... I found one I liked and brought it home. As I was flipping through the booklet that came with the pot I saw a recipe for Carolina Barbecued Pork that sounded really delicious. As I had already expended several days energy in a Spring cleaning frenzy, I went with it. I have no regrets.
Unlike Saturday, that Sunday was pure lazy bliss. I slept late. Around noon I rolled into the kitchen and started to get my act together. Chop, rub, mix. Put in crock pot. Turn on. Return to couch to read books and watch movies and look at clean apartment. After two hours it smelled so good... Six hours later I moseyed back into the kitchen. I took the pork out and lest it rest until it was cool enough to handle. I tore it apart with my hands. I ate it.
This pork was the most tender, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, porky goodness that you can possibly imagine. I love bbq of any kind, but pulled pork is my absolute favorite. I particularly love it when topped with a sauce that has a good vinegary kick, to balance out the richness of the pork. This recipe has it all, and I will definitely be making it again. I might tweak a thing here or there, and will make suggestions below, but overall I was very pleased with the final product. Go Crock Pot and your accompanying recipe booklet!
I served the pulled pork on hoagie rolls and made some cole slaw to go along with. I like my cole slaw on the sandwich itself. Crunchy, vinegary slaw contrasts beautifully with the rich, tender pork. The onions cooked with the pork were delicious, as was the reserved marinade that you drizzle as a sauce over the final product. The marinade is full of flavor, but I found myself wanting it saucier, so added some Stubb's Spicy BBQ. This sandwich was so delicious, so easy, and so satisfying. Next time you know you'll be busy, or you feel a psychotic cleaning frenzy coming on, get this going in the background. You won't regret it either.
Carolina Barbecued Pork
2 onions, quartered
2 T brown sugar
1 T paprika (next time I would use a good smoked paprika for smokier flavor)
2 t salt
1/2 t pepper (more like 1 1/2 t)
1 4-6 lb boneless pork butt or shoulder roast
3/4 c cider vinegar
4 t Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes (more like 1T)
1 1/2 t sugar
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t garlic salt or granules (I used 1t)
1/4 t cayenne pepper (I used 1t)
Place the onions in the crock pot. Combine brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper and rub the mixture over the roast before putting in pot. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic granules and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Drizzle 1/2 of the vinegar mixture over the roast. Cover and refrigerate the remaining vinegar mixture. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 10 hours, or on high for 6 hours. Remove the meat and onions and drain. Separate meat from remaining fat and then pull apart with your fingers. Serve pork and onions on buns, topped with vinegar mixture.
Recommended unit size: 6-7 quarts
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