Pulled Pork in the Oven (or Slow Cooker)
Three weeks ago we hosted a family reunion for my cousins. With about 25 people attending, I decided to make it a potluck party. I made Pulled Pork in the Oven, a recipe that I had found on the Eating Well website. One of my cousins brought more than enough fantastic chocolate cupcakes for dessert, and everyone else brought a wonderful assortment of appetizers, salads, side dishes, and wine. It was one of the easiest parties ever, and we all had a great time visiting and catching up with each other!
The original Pulled Pork in the Oven recipe makes 12 (3-ounce) servings. I could have gotten away with doubling it, but I wanted to be sure to have enough food, so I tripled it. We had more than enough, and plenty for leftovers.
I bought slider rolls, which turned out to be the perfect size to use when you have a lot of other great dishes to sample at a party.
What I love about this recipe is that it is so easy! Once you get the sauce made, it just does its own thing in the oven. You don’t have to fuss over a barbecue for hours. Pulled Pork in the Oven is a great recipe if you ever have a crowd to feed.
One more thought….if you’re a fan of slow cookers, I don’t see why this couldn’t be done in one. Just prepare the sauce as directed on the stove, then put the sauce and the roast in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours. I haven’t tried it, but I think I just might sometime.
Pulled Pork in the Oven
(Adapted from a recipe from Eating Well)
This is the original recipe; it makes 12 (3-ounce) servings. Double or triple the ingredients to serve more people.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika (I used hot paprika)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 ounces beer, preferably lager (1½ cups)
¾ cup ketchup (I substituted ¾ cup unsweetened ketchup plus 1/3 cup maple sugar)
¾ cup cider vinegar
½ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 (4–5 pound) pork shoulder roast (I found that bone-in and boneless both worked.)
Slider buns or bread of your choice
Pork shoulder roast, sometimes called Boston butt
1. Preheat the oven to 300˚.
2. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof pot over medium-low heat.
3. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is quite soft. This will take about 20 minutes.
4. Increase the heat to medium. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
5. Add the beer, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, chipotle pepper, and the adobo sauce.
6. Bring the sauce to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until it has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
This photo shows my simmering sauce when I tripled it. It filled an 8-quart pot.
7. Trim the visible fat from the pork while the sauce is simmering.
8. Add the pork roast to the pot of sauce, spoon the sauce over the pork, and put a cover on the pot.
(If you’re doubling or tripling the recipe and you can’t put the pork in the pot, put the pork roasts in a roasting pan. Pour the sauce over them, and cover with heavy duty foil.)
3 pork roasts in a roasting pan
9. Put the pork in the preheated oven and bake for 1½ hours.
10. Turn the roasts over; cover and bake for 1½ more hours.
11. Remove the cover and continue to bake until it is fork-tender, or for 1 – 2 more hours.
12. Take the pork out of the pan and put it in a large bowl.
13. Let the sauce cool a bit, and then skim off some of the fat. Cook the sauce over medium heat so it can thicken and reduce a bit.
14. While the sauce is cooking, pull the pork into shreds using two forks.
15. Add some of the sauce to the pork and stir it together. You’ll probably have more sauce than you need to blend with the pork. Extra sauce can be served on the side for those who want more.
16. Serve hot on slider buns, or the bread of your choice.