Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crockpot Pulled Pork BBQ

When I moved to SC in 1999 to attend school, I quickly got introduced to BBQ.  Not the type that comes from the grill, but slow cooked, smoky, falling of the bone pork BBQ.  This was a new culinary experience for me and I fell in love!! Not only did I fall in love with the BBQ but also all the sides that came with it; Brunswick stew being my favorite.  I enjoyed the laid back attitude in the restaurants and appreciated the pride in the cooking and culture. As I met folks from this area, they all thought I was a bit of a novelty. "What do you mean you never had Fried Okra? She has never tasted Hash!! You don't know what a chitlin is?  We need to get you some Pully Bones......" What??  And so off we would go.....I enjoyed every chance meeting I had with the food of this region. OK, I did put my foot down on the chitlins and the boiled peanuts can trigger my gag reflex like nothing else. But truthfully, today, nothing is more comforting after a long day at work than a bowl of hot cheese grits.

Thanks to a very special lady here in the south, a grandma of sorts, I learned to cook a lot of the dishes that I learned to love. She took me under her wing and we started out simple. I don't think she had much confidence in me; "the girl who was not from here." But over time, I proved to her that I wanted to learn and for that she was quite proud and not afraid to tell whomever was around. A lot of the recipes she told me were not written down and still aren't.   Since her passing last year, I don't know where any of her written recipes have gotten to, but I will always rememeber the one measurement  she always used, when in doubt, "just add you a lil' bit."

She gave me more than "a lil' bit" as a newcomer to this area ....she gave me a lot of Love.

While I am not a huge crock pot type of girl, I do have a few recipes that I pull out during certain occasions. I love this recipe because it is simple, feeds a crowd and at this time of the year, in SC it is between 90 and 100 degrees most days, it does not heat up the house like the oven will. I know that this is not exactly the same as the smokey BBQ you get at a restaurant but it is a great home version.


Crock pot Pulled Pork BBQ

8 lb pork shoulder or Boston Butt roast
1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Make sure the roast fits into your crock pot. Place meat in the crock pot. In a bowl combine vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on the high setting for 5 to 6 hours. Transfer meat to a cutting board. Reserve cooking juices. When cool enough to handle, cut meat off bones and coarsely chop. In a medium bowl, combine as much meat and as much of the juices as desired to moisten. Arrange meat on the bottoms of rolls. Replace roll tops. Add BBQ sauce if you would like. Serve with coleslaw or side of your choice.

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