As a child, I was picky with my food. Veggies were out, anything with chunks, anything green – I wouldn’t eat. So when my mother insisted on making a healthy meal of Cabbage Rolls in her Crock-Pot at around age 8, I immediately turned my nose up. Stews and vegetable soup? No frickin’ way was I going near it. From about that time, I always associated her oh-so-80s Crock-Pot with limp, overcooked vegetables and chunky soups – and even though I quite like chunky soups now, I was a little dubious about the slow-cooking machine.
As I understand it, the Crock-Pot was more of an American thing – and while they’re trying to make a comeback over there, they’re trying make somewhat of a debit over here.
Their PR team got in touch with me ages ago to try a Crock-Pot review. They sent a lovely box of veggies, which I immediately knew I probably wasn’t going to use. I had a Eureka moment instead. What better way to bring the Crock-Pot to the UK than to slow-cook a delicious American classic: Pulled Pork.
I was inspired from a few different recipes online, but for the most part, this concoction was all mine. Most of you know that I’m far from an expert in the kitchen (having things cooked for you can be so much more reliable!), but I have to say this one is a winner.
Please note, that as an American, I still have my American measuring cups. I love them, and I still think that way, so most of this recipe (bar the pork) reflects that.
- 500g pork shoulder cubes
- 1 medium white onion, minced
- 1/3 cup smokey whiskey (Note: MAGIC INGREDIENT. I used Jura)
- 1/3 cup quality maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (do yourself a favour and don’t use Tabasco. Go Original Cholula or Frank’s)
- 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
- 1 teaspoon corse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- As many twists of ground black pepper you want
- Fresh from the bakery onions rolls (or baps, if you will)
Add all ingredients into the pot. Turn on the lowest setting, wait 8 hours and then shred the pork with a fork. That’s it.
And after (served with chips made from my beloved Acti-Fry):
I can not tell you how delicious and easy to make this was. Spicy, sweet and fantastically tender. The only downside is that next time I make them, I’ll have to wait another 8 hours to eat them.
Welcome back, Crock-Pot, I imagine you will go far.