I recently attended the ultimate in food luncheons- Pulled Pork-A-Palooza. Myself and other bloggers were in attendance to learn about and become inspired by all the ways we can easily prepare pulled pork from home.
I have noticed the recent trend with pulled pork, especially in sliders. I must admit, I’ve been loving it. What I didn’t realize is how easy it is to make at home, and how many different ways in can be served. Pulled pork isn’t just for sliders- you can toss them in a soft taco, grilled cheese (this is amazing), a baked potato, on top of a salad or pizza- the possibilities are endless.
Yesterday morning, I pulled out the slow cooker, threw in a pork sirloin roast, “set it and forget it” until 4pm. The results were amazing, it took no time to prepare, and my family loved it.
Sara Kate from TheKitchn.com shared one very important tip to cooking pulled pork at the event- no matter how tempting, keep that slow cooker lid shut! When you lift the lid, you lose a lot of heat and moisture, and it actually takes away about the last twenty minutes that the pork was tenderizing. Certain members of my household can’t be trusted to not sneak a sniff, so I rubberbanded it shut!
Here’s a couple of recipes for you to try out at home. I promise the results are effortlessly delicious!
Prep Time: 10 minutes (!!!)
Cook Time: 5 ¼-8 ¼ hours
Serving Size: 8-10 servings
1 3lb boneless pork shoulder or sirloin roast (if you like a leaner cut, go with the sirloin roast)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp canola oil
½ cup chicken broth
Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and place the pork in the pan. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, salt, and cayenne. Rub the mixture over the sides of the meat, pressing it to adhere. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and brown all sides, 6-8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.
Add the broth to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth to the slow cooker, cover, and cook until pork is very tender, 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10-15 minutes. Use two forks to shred meat into bite sized pieces. Moisten/season with cooking juices to taste. (Note: I used half a bottle of Trader Joe’s Bold & Smoky Kansas City Style Barbeque Sauce to smother the pulled pork. It turned out delicious and for $2.69 a bottle, a bargain!)
Pulled Pork Quesadilla
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Serving size: Makes 4 servings
½ lb cooked pulled pork
1 tbsp olive oil
½ red bell pepper, cored and cut into strips
½ green bell pepper, cored and cut into strips
1 tbsp unsalted butter
9 or 10 inch flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, or Mexican cheese blend
Salsa, for serving
Preheat an oven to 200 degrees F and arrange a baking sheet in the oven.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and very tender, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a plate or bowl and set aside. Carefully wipe out the skillet and set aside.
Lightly spread the butter on one side of each tortilla. Lay the tortllas, buttered side down, on a work surface. Arrange ½ cup of cheese on half of each tortilla, leaving a 1” border at the edge. Arrange the bell peppers and pork on top, then fold the tortillas in half over the fillings.
Rewarm the skillet over medium heat. Add 2 of the quesadillas and cook, covered, until golden brown on the bottom, 2-4 minutes. Carefully turn and cook, uncovered, until golden brown on the other bottom half and the cheese has melted, 1-3 minutes. Transfer the finished quesadillas to the baking sheet in the oven. Carefully wipe out the skillet and repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 4-6 wedges. Serve with salsa.