Thursday, September 24, 2015

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

slow cooker pulled pork loin
After much deliberation (and much salivation over posts like this) I stopped by Canadian Tire yesterday to buy my very first slow cooker. It's this one, if you're interested (and it's 40% off this week).

I'd picked up a pork loin while grocery shopping a couple of days ago and figured that pulled pork would be a good inaugural slow cooker recipe (it literally has two ingredients, so there'd be no messing it up!). I'd never bought a pork loin before, but at less than $2/lb I felt I should give it a try. The downside is that pork loins (even half pork loins) are massive! The smallest one was 5.5 lb. Good thing pulled pork freezes well!

I started by washing the pork loin and trying to cut the inedible silverskin (fascia) off. Alas I was not very successful with my (apparently dull) santoku knife...or some of it stayed on (not to worry, it came off easily after cooking). I popped the pork loin into the slow cooker (no water required), turned it to high, added some chopped garlic as an afterthought, and left it alone for six hours (I did flip it over halfway, but I don't think it was really necessary to do so).
hamilton beach 6 qt slowcooker
Within a couple of hours my house was filled with a delicious garlicky aroma. After around six hours I lifted the meat out with a fork and put it into a roasting pan to shred. I could tell right away that it was cooked, as it started falling apart en route to the pan. I used two forks to shred the meat, which required next to no effort.
slow cooker pork loin
shredded pork slow cooker
The shredded meat was a bit dry (as it is very lean), so I poured the juices from the slowcooker over it, then stirred in half a bottle (to taste) of BBQ sauce.
bbq sauce pork loin
awful lighting! sorry
Because it was after 10 pm by the time the pork was done, I stuck it in the fridge for tonight's dinner. I think this marinating helped to enhance the flavour, as when I took it out this evening the pork had soaked up all of the sauce. Eaten with rice, it was really delicious!
slow cooker pulled pork loin
I can't believe how effortless it was to prepare this pulled pork -- or how tasty it turned out! Since the meat becomes so tender with slow cooking, you can definitely get away with buying the cheapest cut. For just $10 I got a big casserole dish of pulled pork -- fortunately I have lots of ideas for consuming it: on grilled cheese, in salads, fried up in omelettes, stirred into rice and beans, rolled into summer rolls...and I've frozen portions as well for busier times.

I'm definitely glad to have added a slow cooker to my kitchen and am looking forward to trying more recipes with it over the winter! If you have a favourite slow cooker recipe to share, I'd love to hear it :)

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