I wish someone had told me sooner that a slow cooker was the secret to really delicious pulled pork. With just a handful of ingredients and my favorite kitchen appliance, I can have juicy, tender pork that rivals some of my favorite barbecue joints.
Another discovery that I’ve made is how versatile pulled pork can be, especially during football season. First, I used the meat to make pulled pork sliders for a tailgate. Then, I used the leftover pulled pork to make nachos and I found that the pork was the perfect base for my favorite game day snack.
Here is a super easy recipe for pulled pork, then the sliders and nachos. With the Super Bowl approaching, I figured these recipes would be useful for my fellow football fans. Enjoy!
BBQ Pulled Pork
- 5 lb Bone-In Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt
- 1 extra large Onion or 2 medium Onions
- 4 cloves Garlic
- ½ cup store-bought BBQ Spice Rub (Recommended: McCormick or Trader Joes)
- 1 ½ cups Chicken Stock or Broth, divided
- ½ cup Vegetable or Canola oil
- 1 ½ – 2 cups store-bought Barbecue Sauce (Recommended: Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Preheat slow cooker to low. Slice the onion and arrange on the bottom of the crock-pot. Roughly chop the garlic cloves and sprinkle over the onion. Pour one cup of the chicken stock over the onions and garlic.
Next, prepare the pork by placing it on a large cutting board and trimming off any access fat with a knife. Then, rub half the spice rub into one side of meat, flip and rub the other half of the spices into the other half, being sure to cover every inch.
Allow the rub to set while preheating a Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet to high. Add in the oil and then gently add in the pork. Sear for a few minutes or until a golden crust has formed. Then rotate until browned on all sides.
Once completely seared, quickly transfer meat to the slow cooker, placing the meat on top of the onions. Then, use the remaining ½ cup of stock to deglaze the pan, scraping up all of the bits from the bottom. Pour the stock into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low overnight or for 8-9 hours.
Once cooked, transfer meat to a bowl (discard bone). Then, pour everything from the slow cooker into a strainer to separate the juices from the onions. Discard the juices, add the onions back to the pork and using two forks, shred the meat. Finally, mix in the BBQ sauce. You can keep the meat warm in the slow cooker, refrigerate until ready to use, or freeze for up to 3 months.
To make BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders: Gently toast your slider rolls under a low broiler. Then pile about a ¼ cup pulled pork on the bottom half of the roll, followed by about 2 tablespoons of your favorite store-bought or homemade coleslaw. Finally, place the top half of the bun over the slaw and serve.
BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos
- 1 Bag Tortilla Chips
- 2 Cups BBQ Pulled Pork, warmed or at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup grated Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Smoked or Regular Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 Scallions, green parts only, sliced
- ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
- Extra Barbecue Sauce or Chipotle Hot Sauce for drizzling (optional)
Directions: Preheat broiler to low. On a baking sheet or oven safe platter, arrange the tortilla chips in a single layer, overlapping the chips slightly. Spoon the pulled pork over the chips, being sure that each chip has some meat on top. Then, sprinkle the grated cheeses evenly over the pulled pork and top with the red onion. Place the nachos under the broiler until the cheese has melted. Then, remove from the oven, sprinkle scallions and cilantro on top and drizzle with barbecue or chipotle hot sauce. Serve immediately.