Ok, this recipe for crockpot BBQ (barbecue, barbeque or bar-b-que) couldn't be easier, and is one of my favorite recipes from The Southern Slow Cooker cookbook, which is about to come out this summer (whee!). It's important to note that this recipe is for an eastern NC-style 'cue, which is heavy on the cider vinegar, crushed red pepper and brown sugar. Personally, it's my favorite kind of barbecue. However, if you prefer a saucy sweet BBQ, you can always skip making my suggested BBQ sauce and pour in your favorite bottled stuff. Either way, it's gonna be tasty good.
When it comes to NC-style barbecue, typically the pork is slow cooked over a wood burning fire for hours and hours until the meat has absorbed all the beauty of real-deal smoke. However, I've made this recipe easy peasy for the home cook by dry rubbing it in a mixture of spices and sugar and then plopping it in the slow cooker on top of some onions where it cooks all by its lonesome (or overnight if you prefer). You don't need to stoke any fires.
I recently demo'd this recipe on "The Heart of the Home", a cooking show that I host for The Virginia Farm Bureau's award winning bi-monthly show, "Real Virginia". Check out my on-line how-to and then scroll down for the whole recipe, which includes my family's recipe for creamy cider slaw. Enjoy!
Vinegar Style Slow Cooker Pork BBQ with Cider Slaw Recipe
Serves 10-12 (makes approximately 2 quarts)
This slow cooker recipe gives a well-deserved nod to true NC-Style BBQ by incorporating a sauce that’s heavy on the vinegar and hot pepper. However, you can skip the sauce making part altogether and enjoy a basic roasted pork, which is not only fantastic on a bun with slaw and hot sauce, but is great for making burritos, BBQ pizza, or nachos.
Sidebar: I recommend using a 5-6 quart slow cooker for this recipe due to the size of the pork roast. You can also cut this recipe in half and use a smaller slow cooker.
2 large onions, sliced
5 pound pork shoulder roast
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
For the sauce:
2 cups cooking liquid (reserved from slow cooked pork)
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoon tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup water
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Buns, slaw and hot sauce, for serving
Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Make slits in the pork roast and insert garlic cloves. Rub salt, pepper, brown sugar and red pepper flakes into the meat. Place pork in slow cooker fat side up and pour in vinegar and apple cider. Cover and cook for 10-12 hours or until the meat is fall apart tender.
Remove meat to a large bowl and shred it with two forks. Set aside.
Pour two cups of the pan juices into a measuring cup. Let cool and skim off any visible fat. Pour this liquid into a saucepan (discard any leftover juices still in the pot). Add Worcestershire, chili powder, paprika, mustard, ketchup, red pepper flakes, water, cider vinegar and brown sugar. Bring this mixture up to a boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the shredded pork to the pot and add one cup of the sauce mixture (more if you like it wet). Give it a stir and set the slow cooker to warm. Serve any additional sauce on the side.
Serve pork straight from the pot with a slotted spoon with buns, slaw and hot sauce.
Creamy Cider Slaw
Makes about 2 cups
In true country cooking fashion, this is a recipe where one must taste as she goes, adding a little more of this or that as needed. If you like your slaw on the sweet side, add more sugar. Like it tart? Use less sugar and more vinegar.
4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or to taste
2-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ medium head green cabbage, finely grated (about 2 cups grated)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of celery seed, optional
In a large bowl, whisk sugar and vinegar together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add mayonnaise and blend dressing until it is smooth and creamy.
About 30 minutes before serving, add your cabbage (this is not an overnight slaw). Mix well to coat and season with salt, pepper and celery seed, if desired.
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