Pulled pork is one of those things that I just cannot fathom buying pre-made. I mean, I get the appeal of a no-work dinner…but pulled pork is about as close as you can get to doing no prep. The slow cooker does nearly all the work for you, and even the five minutes required at the end for shredding the meat is ridiculously easy, because the slow cooker tenderizes the meat to the point that it nearly falls apart when you touch it.
Pulled pork recipes make a ridiculously large amount of food. They’re great for when you’re hosting a party, because one large cut of pork can serve twenty people as sandwiches. That’s my kind of easy! Pulled pork is also great to have as leftovers. I love having leftover pulled pork in my fridge so much, in fact, that I’m often sad when it’s gone – even after eating from it for a whole week! I find myself being endlessly creative with the leftovers, finding different methods to use up the delicious bounty.
I’ve gone one further than just providing the pulled pork recipe – I’ve shown how I often stretch that one simple meal out over an entire week. How do you use up pulled pork? I’d love to hear!
What you need:
- 2 T. rub:
- 2 T. sweet paprika
- 2 T. dark brown sugar
- 1 T. chili powder
- 1 T. kosher salt
- 2 t. onion powder
- 2 t. cumin
- 2 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. oregano
- 1 t. cayenne
- 3-5 lb. pork shoulder
- 1 onion, cut in half-moon slices
- 1/4-1/2 c. orange juice
- 1/8-1/4 c. lime juice
- measuring cups and spoons
- small container with lid
- slow cooker
- cutting board and knife
Time: 5 minutes prep + 8-10 hours cooking time.
Freezeable: Yes! This makes a lot, so I often serve it once for dinner, keep enough out for the leftovers to go around another time, and then freeze the rest in meal-sized portions, so we can have a quick, homemade meal even when I have no time to prepare it!
Serves: A lot. This is a good recipe for a crowd.
Multiplying the recipe: If you just need a massive amount of pulled pork, you can easily cook a larger cut of pork. The slow cooker works best when it is about 3/4 full, so buy a cut of meat that will fit into your slow cooker. Adjust the seasonings accordingly. Increase the cooking time to 10-12 hours on low.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:
To make the rub: Combine all the spices in a container with a lid. Stir thoroughly to combine.
To make the pulled pork: In a large slow cooker, combine the pork, onion, orange juice, and lime juice. Sprinkle 2 T. of the rub evenly over the surface of the pork. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. When cooking time is over, remove the meat from the slow cooker. Shred the meat with two forks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Place the shredded meat in a serving bowl and add a few ladles of the cooking liquid from the bottom of the pot to moisten it.
To make pulled pork sandwiches: To make pulled pork sandwiches, simply add barbecue sauce to taste to the shredded pork along with the cooking liquid after shredding. Serve on hamburger buns. My kids especially like it when I accompany pulled pork sandwiches with French fries.
Other uses for pulled pork:
- Salads: Add some pulled pork, along with your favorite southwestern-style toppings, to make a hearty main dish salad. Serve with crushed corn chips for garnish and Catalina dressing.
- Pizza: Top pizza crust sparingly with barbecue sauce. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green or red onions, and pulled pork. Bake according to crust instructions.
- Tacos, burritos, enchiladas: Use pulled pork in place of your usual meat.
- Burrito bowls: Set out rice, beans, and taco fixings, along with pulled pork. Each diner chooses their own toppings to create personal burrito bowls.
- Soup: Add pulled pork to black bean and rice soup. Serve with crumbled tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions.
- Pasta: Make rotini with cheese sauce. Combine with sliced green onions, drained and rinsed kidney beans, and pulled pork.