Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (spice rub from Cooks Illustrated)

Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 
2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 
4 tablespoons paprika
  • 
2 tablespoons table salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 (6-8 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
  • 
½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  1. Mix all spice rub ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Massage spice rub into meat. Wrap tightly in double layer of plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (For stronger flavor, the roast can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  3. Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker liner. Add liquid smoke, if using, and ¼ cup water. Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until meat is fork-tender.
  4. Transfer roast to cutting board; discard liquid in liner. “Pull” by tearing meat into thin shreds with two forks or your fingers. Discard fat.
  5. Place shredded meat back in slow cooker liner; toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce, and heat on low for 30-60 minutes, until hot. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

Chunky Pork Shoulder Ragu Recipe

This was super yummy! I can’t remember where I found the recipe, somewhere online. Working with an entire pork shoulder roast takes a little getting used to, the skin part is a little scary! Served over pasta, this was incredible!
MAKES ABOUT 10 CUPS

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, rolled and tied
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
1 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
Salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and brown it on all sides. Remove the meat to a large slow cooker.

Add the onion and fennel seeds to the skillet and cook until the onion is tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sage, and rosemary.

Add the tomato puree, tomatoes, and a pinch of salt and stir well. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker. Add the crushed red pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until the pork is very tender.

Remove the meat to a cutting board but leave the sauce in the slow cooker with the heat on. With two forks, tear the pork into bite-size pieces. Return the pork to the cooker to reheat. Stir in the basil.