North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches

We’re really starting to get into this slow cooker thing. How great is it to come home to food that’s ready to eat? Though, oops — this recipe does have the extra step of making a sauce using the reduced cooking liquid, so it’s not as one-and-done as others. The following is adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution, has the perfect blend of vinegar, smoke, sweet, and moist pork. We served the pork on a Macrina brioche bun. Dee. Lish.

Chris says:

Wow, this is great! I can’t believe I’ve never made this at home. This is way better than some of the pulled pork sandwiches I’ve had at restaurants.

Lisa says:

You know what I think of it; I was sneaking bites before you even finished the sauce.

Chris says:

Patience, my dear.

Lisa says:

Patience is for suckas. I was hungry.

Chris says:

You have to admit, though, it was worth waiting for the finished product… the cider vinegar, the sweet from the brown sugar, and you really get that nice smokey flavor from the ham hock, and, well, the liquid smoke.

Lisa says:

Obviously it was worth it! I’m just saying. That pork would have disappeared whether or not it was finished.


North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches
3 tbsp brown sugar, divided
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 2.5-lb boneless pork butt, trimmed and halved
1 large smoked ham hock, rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/8 cup (6 tbsp) ketchup
3/4 tsp liquid smoke

Combine 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, cumin, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 tablespoon pepper in bowl. Using a fork, prick the pork all over. Rub the brown sugar mixture over the pork, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
Place ham hock in slow cooker. Unwrap the pork and place on top of the ham hock. Pour broth over pork, cover, and cook until pork is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
Transfer pork and ham hock to a large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces discarding skin, bones, and excess fat; cover to keep warm. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.
Strain liquid into medium saucepan and simmer until thickened and measures 1/2 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, liquid smoke, and remaining 1.5 tablespoons sugar and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss shredded pork with 3/4 cups sauce; add more sauce as needed to keep meat moist.
Serve on buns with pickle chips and extra sauce.

4 generous servings


5 responses to “North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches”

  1. I just discovered your blog through Closed for Logging, by way of Meg and Oh Briggsy’s Cook the Books Cookbook challenge (March’s Cookbook is Good Fish). My boyfriend and I have also recently gotten into slow cooking and have been cooking from Slow Cooker Revolution! Isn’t that cookbook the best? I have yet to make the pulled pork recipe from that book, but it is definitely on my list (it’s the main reason I wanted a slow cooker). So it’s great to hear what changes you made. I will also be bookmarking this blog, because I want to hear more about what you guys make in the slow cooker (as well as whatever else you cook), so I’m glad I found it!

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