Barbecue tastes like summer nights, like long slow days next to the grill, checking on the meat, perfuming the neighborhood. I know that’s how the purists do it, but sometimes, that reality just cannot be. During the mad dash that is those last few weeks of school, there is no relaxing by the grill. It’s go, go, go until we all collapse at the dinner table. And that’s on a good night when we can all eat together.
During this madness of spring season, I turn to my slow cooker for a little help. Give the meat a quick rub with some brown sugar and spices. Massage it in, have some fun with it, all that texture is therapeutic. Line the bottom with a cup of cider vinegar. And forget about it for 6 to 7 hours.
When you come back to the crock pot, it will have done its job. Just push it gently with a fork, a serving spoon, or whatever tempts you. The meat will yield, easily, beautifully. That moment when the meat collapses on itself is pure magic, an invitation to the table.
The only decision you’ll have to make is what favorite barbecue sauce to drizzle on top. Or perhaps you’ll have it plain. After a day cooking slowly in cider vinegar and spices, this slow cooked pulled pork will taste anything but plain.
- 4 to 5 pound pork butt or pork shoulder
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons of ancho chili powder
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- With your fingers, crumble together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper into a small mixing bowl.
- Massage this spice mixture all over the chunk of pork. Get it in the corners. Have fun with it. Wash your hands well afterwards.
- Pour the cider vinegar in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Lay the rubbed pork on top. Cover. Set on high and cook for 6 to 7 hours. If you have time, flip it halfway through.
- With a fork, gently pry the meat apart. It should yield very easily.
- Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce. Keep 3-4 days covered in the fridge to have as leftovers, tacos, or just to pick at as you walk by.