I can’t believe that slow cooker pulled pork has eluded me until now. A colleague recently asked me for advice on cooking pulled pork and I had to admit I’d never actually made it. Ever. Now I am wishing I had this gem in my repertoire years ago.
I tend to shy away from slow cooker recipes because although I love the concept, I found that they all started to morph into the same stringy, stewy tasting dish. But not this one! No siree… it is flawlessly tender, juicy and smothered in a rich, smoky tomato sauce with just the right amount of tang.
This shredded pork recipe really is the perfect summer meal for a hot day and great for a small, casual gathering or even when you need to feed a crowd. It’s one of those meals that is easy enough to throw together, but tastes like you went to a lot more trouble than you actually did. And how can you not love that?!
I like that you can prep pork in a slow cooker the night before and come home to the delicious aroma of a tasty meal! I added liquid smoke to my version (which you can get at just about any grocery store) and a quick broccoli slaw. Pile it high on buns and garnish it with some pickled jalapenos or sliced pepperoncini for even more zing (if that’s your thing).
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork on a Bun
- 3-1/2 lb pork shoulder blade roast (1.6 kg)
- 1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (2 mL)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (30 mL)
- 1 onion , diced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder (30 mL)
- 2 tsp dried cilantro (10 mL)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup tomato paste (60 mL)
- 1 14 oz can tomato sauce (398 mL)
- 2 tbsp packed brown sugar (30 mL)
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar (30 mL)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (30 mL)
- 1 tbsp natural hickory liquid smoke flavour
- 1 -12 oz bag broccoli cole slaw 340 g
- 4-6 tbsp coleslaw dressing (add to your liking)
- 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncin or pickled jalapenos (optional)
- 8 whole wheat buns
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. In Dutch oven or large, deep frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown pork all over. Transfer to slow cooker.
Add onions, garlic, chili powder, cilantro and bay leaves to Dutch oven/frying pan; cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke, Pour into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours.
Transfer pork to cutting board and when cooled for about 10 minutes, remove any fat and bone. With 2 forks, shred or “pull” pork. (See video on how to pull pork in notes)
Meanwhile, pour liquid from slow cooker into large saucepan; skim off fat. Bring to boil over high heat; boil vigorously until reduced to 3 cups, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Add pulled pork; stir to coat and warm through.
Pile meat on bun.
Broccoli slaw: Mix broccoli slaw and coleslaw salad dressing together and add to bun.
Add peperoncini or pickled jalapenos, if desired.
Here is a how to video: How to pull pork *However, I shred mine a little more than he does in this video.
*Note: I use Mezzetta Golden Greek sliced pepperoncini because I became addicted to it after using it to create contest entries.