Nothing says 'autumn' more to me than a slow cooker bubbling away in the kitchen, with a warm meal just waiting to be devoured. Even better, when it's time to eat, there's little to no prep involved!
Today's recipe is a traditional slow cooker recipe, but with some fall flair - Apple Cider Pulled Pork
. When I think of fall flavors, my mind immediately races to apples, pumpkin, squash, and all things cinnamon or maple-flavored. I thought it'd be fun to do pulled pork with an apple cider barbecue sauce, and it turned out great! The pork is seasoned with apple cider, along with some of your typical spices of cumin, cayenne, paprika, and garlic powder. It simmers in a slow cooker all day long, and then the leftover liquid is turned into a tasty barbecue sauce for serving with the pork.
The first part's super easy... just combine your liquids and seasonings and pour over the pork shoulder in a slow cooker. Let it cook about 6-8 hours on low.
When it's done cooking, remove the pork and drain the liquid into a saucepan. Return the pork to the slow cooker, and shred it with two forks or some tongs.
To thicken the sauce, bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine the cornstarch and water, add it to the liquid, and bring it back to a boil. It should thicken up within a few minutes. Stir about half the sauce back into the pork, and reserve the rest for serving.
Serve on your favorite sandwich buns.
We loved this pulled pork... it was a nice change up from typical heavy barbecue. It's got a more light flavor with just a bit of sweet and heat. It would also be really good with a little coleslaw on top!
Apple Cider Pulled Pork
- 2 cups apple cider
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 3-4 lbs. pork shoulder or butt roast
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup cold water
- sandwich buns
In a large bowl, combine apple cider, ketchup, brown sugar, and spices. Place half of sliced onions in bottom of slow cooker bowl; top with pork shoulder. Top with remaining onions. Pour sauce over meat, and cook on low 6-8 hours until tender. Remove pork to cool for 10 minutes before shredding.
Transfer remaining liquid mixture from slow cooker to a medium saucepan; simmer over medium heat until boiling. Combine cornstarch with water in a small bowl; add to liquid mixture. Stir, until thickens. Meanwhile, shred pork and return to slow cooker. Add about half of the thickened sauce and mix to combine. Serve on sandwich buns with remaining sauce.
adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef