Hands down, this was some of the best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever made. These delicious sandwiches deserved lots of step-by-step pictures under perfect lighting. But honestly, it was five in the morning, my camera battery was somewhere other than in its bag, and as I staggered around in our kitchen half-asleep, my blog and snapping photos were the furthest things from my mind. Start dinner, make coffee and pack lunches for my guys, those were the things on my mind this morning.
I was trying a new recipe – inspired by The Best Ever Simple Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches first published by Donna of The Slow Roasted Italian. It sounded delicious (minus the pickles). Lately, we’ve been eating a lot of “fast” meals. With long unpredictable hours for my guys at work, I never know when to expect them home. The beauty of most crock pot meals is that you can toss it all into the pot, cover and walk away. At the end of the day, put together a few finishing touches and dinner is on the table at the perfect hour, whatever that might be. Donna’s recipe called for a two-part cooking process, adding the barbecue sauce at the end and allowing the pork to cook another hour. I didn’t have the luxury of an hour. Hubby would send the text “heading home” about ten minutes before they walked through the door. That’s all the heads up I get when things are busy. Besides, it’s Tuesday. I needed supper served and the kitchen cleaned so we could relax in front of the TV, zipping through the commercials of network broadcasting.
Tuesday nights are my opportunity to watch one of the few television programs I really enjoy. Don’t laugh, but Mark Harmon is one sexy gray-haired man and Gibbs, with his piercing blue eyes and silent presence is one sensuality charged creature. Even this old gal has her Hollywood fantasy heroes. Hum, it occurred to me as I write this post that one of the complaints most women have about men is their silent, distant brooding – and yet Gibbs is sexy for those very reasons. Maybe it’s because we fancy the idea of breaking through that cool, silent exterior. Let’s face it, one thing we women like to do is fix broken people – especially broken men. We yearn to break down the protective armor and reveal the real man we know is lurking deep inside. The challenge stirs an arousal from deep within. It’s this same desire that tends to make us a little crazy since no one person can truly “fix” another. Smart women know this. Yet we still continue to try. But that’s a subject for another day . . .
Dr. Pepper Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches
3-4 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
1 1/2 Cups Dr. Pepper
1 1/2 Cups Barbecue Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Fresh Ground Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Barbecue Seasoning (for finish)
2 Tablespoons Mesquite Seasoning (for finish)
1 Cup Cooking Liquid (approximately), skimmed of excess grease/oil
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
Combine garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, barbecue sauce and Dr. Pepper in a bowl. Place trimmed pork roast into a crock pot. Pour sauce over roast, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (longer is okay, too).
Remove meat CAREFULLY from the pot (it will fall apart). Shred meat, place in a large bowl. Season with barbecue and mesquite seasonings. Mix well, add cooking liquid a little at a time to moisten meat and help absorb the additional finishing seasonings. Taste and adjust as necessary.
Lightly toast buns, brush buns with a little barbecue sauce, then pile on the meat and enjoy.
Here’s a thought – you could make the pulled pork the day before serving. Shred the meat, place into an air tight container and store in the refrigerator. Skim off the oil, then save all the glorious cooking liquid in a second container. The next day, moisten the meat with the juices and zap it in the microwave to reheat. Serve on those cute little slider buns and be the hit of your next office potluck. Yeah, I like that idea – a star with very little effort.
Hope you all have a fabulous week.