That my friends, is a pulled pork sandwich made in the slow cooker and is it ever delicious and easy. Talk about a tasty meal to come home to after a long day at work or a long day anywhere. This is something you can put in your slow cooker in the morning, come home and - ta dah - dinner is almost complete. No fretting or standing long hours at the stove to feed you and your family and it's much better than carry out!
I grew up in Evansville, Indiana, where barbecue was king and everyone had their favorite barbecue joint. Growing up, there were so many wonderful barbecue restaurants. Each one was slightly different from the other, yet similar. Evansville barbecue used a tomato based sauce and the meat was cooked over open pits using hickory wood to give the barbecue that awesome smokey flavor. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Mac's Barbecue also had the best potato salad EVER and their pies were to die for. Just sayin' for all of you who remember Mac's!
When I was young, my uncle moved to California to work for the space industry and he would request barbecue for holiday gifts since they could not get barbecue like we were accustomed to in Evansville. Many of the barbecue places in town had barbecue gift packages that could be shipped. My mom always sent barbecue because that's what their family always requested. That's how good Evansville Barbecue was!
Isn't it funny how you get attached to food memories from childhood and it's hard to change to anything different? My husband has cousins in Alabama and we visited several times. They served barbecue for dinner one night, but I did not recognize it as anything I was accustomed to. They barbecued chicken and basted it with a concoction of mayonnaise, black pepper and vinegar and called it barbecue. That was unlike any barbecue I had ever eaten.
There are so many styles of barbecue. Besides Evansville barbecue, some that I have eaten are Memphis style barbecue, North Carolina barbecue, Kansas City barbecue, and Texas barbecue. Each kind of barbecue is as different from the other as can be. The only kind that Dan didn't like was North Carolina because it is vinegar based and he does NOT like vinegar. I can eat about any of them, but Evansville barbecue is still my favorite, hands down.
This pulled pork recipe lacks that wonderful smokiness of pit barbecue, but it is super easy to make and really delicious which are the two most important things - easy and delicious! Here is what you need:
about 2 pounds of pork loin or pork tenderloin
1 12 oz can root beer
a 28 oz bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
Put the pork in your slow cooker and pour in the can of root beer. Put the lid on and set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for 5/6 hours. When cooking time is up and the meat is tender (and it will fall apart), drain the rootbeer and any fat. Using two forks, pull the pork apart (hence the name pulled pork). It literally fell apart, took about 1 minute to accomplish this task. Cover the pulled pork with your favorite barbecue sauce and let it heat up in the slow cooker for about 20 minutes. That's it!
Place the pork on a bun, rye bread, kaiser roll or however you like to eat it. Delicious! Add pickle and onion if you like it that way. Serve it up with some cole slow on top if that's the way you like to eat your barbecue or add some extra sauce for that "drip down your elbow" effect that makes barbecue sooooo good. We had roasted potatoes and a salad with our sandwiches and let me tell you, it was very tasty, super quick and easy.
Now, was that not the easiest barbecue recipe ever? I know it's not as much fun as cooking it on the grill or smoker and getting that extra kick from the delicious smoke flavor, but it is so easy and extra nice to come home to a meal that is almost done!
Give this recipe a try next time you have a busy day ahead and need something quick and easy for dinner that will not require waiting hours to eat. I think you are going to like it!
Things to Remember:
"Spare rib anyone?" - Adam