If you want to economize and save time, try investing in a slow cooker. It’s one of the best appliances I’ve ever bought — and cheap too! I think it was $20-something at Target.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t taken full advantage of it — there are so many things you can make with one! Our favorite though is slow cooker barbecue pork shoulder. When pork shoulder goes on sale, it is one of the cheapest cuts of meat at $.99/lb. in our area. I buy a 4-pounder, slow cook it, and freeze half of it — it makes so much.
The meat becomes so tender and tasty, and it can easily be used in quesadillas, burritos, burgers, on top of pizzas. It is also good by itself with some of the sauce and rice or noodles. I often eat it as is with my cauliflower “rice”.
To prep the pork shoulder, I remove the huge slab of skin and fat that I know some people would cringe to hear that I discard. You can roast the skin to make cracklings, and save the rendered fat, but it’s not my kind of thing. Here’s a great overview if you want to try it out though!
Then you just throw the pork in the slow cooker and top with onions and some ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. I forgot the brown sugar the last time, and it came out fine. You might feel you don’t even need it. To make your life even easier, you could also just buy a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce and throw that in instead. You just have to weigh your priorities — a little extra time to measure ingredients, or a little extra money for the bottled stuff. Either way, this is a very forgiving easy way to cook a lot of tasty meat without much effort!
*By the way, if you are in the Brooklyn area this weekend, come check out Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene. It is a fantastic independent book store and they have a great selection of books and events. Denis and I will be reading there Saturday, September 22, at 11 am. We’d love to see you if you can make it!*
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
4 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder, fat and skin removed
2 medium onions, sliced vertically
1/2 cup ketchup
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Cut onion in half lengthwise, and then cut into half round slices.
- Place pork in slow cooker pot, then sprinkle onions on top. Pour rest of ingredients over meat and onions. Cook at low heat for 8 hours.
- Remove bone and discard. Shred meat with forks. Serve with sauce.
Note: I use some of the meat the day of cooking. Then the next day after it has been in the refrigerator, I remove the excess oil at the top and divide into smaller containers and freeze the meat and sauce for a quick week night dinner later on.