With cooler weather and football season in full swing, I find that I am hosting people at home more often. And while it would be super easy for me to order delivery, I have a few recipes that I love making for large groups – mostly because they’re effortless! One of my favorite recipes is pulled pork sandwiches. Pulled pork may seem like a daunting entrée to cook, especially in the city (how on earth do you make good barbecue in a condo?), but it is possible and actually easy to do! My secret weapon is a slow cooker. Anything I can set and forget is a win in my book.
This recipe has quite a few ingredients, but don’t let that deter you! I hate buying things that I will only need for one recipe, so most of these ingredients are common condiments that can be used in other things you cook.
I found mini pretzel buns at Whole Foods that I felt would make the perfect mini sandwiches for my friends to snack on, but a good brioche bun works as well. The coleslaw also came from Whole Foods (you don’t have to make everything from scratch)!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8-9 hours
- 1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) boneless pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup jam (any flavor, I usually stay in the berry family)
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Trim excess fat off the pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker
- In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, balsamic vinegar, jam, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, chicken broth, garlic, and onion.
- Pour your mixture on top of the pork shoulder in the slow cooker
- Make sure your pork shoulder is submerged (it’s alright if it peeks out a little)
- Set your slow cooker on low for 8-9 hours
- Remove the pork shoulder with a pair of tongs (don’t dump the leftover mixture!) and use a couple forks to pull apart (shred) your pork
- Pour the remaining mixture into a sauce pan
- Mix ⅓ cup of water with the cornstarch and stir into the sauce pan
- Bring your mixture to a boil then cook on med-low for a few minutes (I usually go with 3-5 minutes). This will thicken the mixture into more of a slurry.
- Pour the slurry over your pulled pork and serve!
TIP: If you don’t have 8-9 hours, you can set the slow cooker on high and cook for 4-5 hours. The only difference between the low and high settings on a slow cooker is the amount of time it takes for the slow cooker to reach its simmer point, the point at which items in the appliance are being cooked. General rule of thumb: subtract 4 hours from the low cooking time to get the cooking time for the high setting. Longer and slower cooking times bring out more flavor!