I’m always looking for ways to pretend I’m a true southerner. Pulled pork is a thing, like a Thing, in North Carolina. People say there’s a difference between eastern and western NC barbecue—eastern being vinegar-based and western being ketchup-based. I don’t love overly-saucy and sweet barbecue, so I suppose that makes me a fan of the eastern type.
In my head pulled pork is a summer food that you make for barbecues on sweltering sunny days. You pile the sweet, tangy pork onto buns and eat with a side of coleslaw and a cold beer. Last summer, I did just that. But this pulled pork is made in the crock pot, which, in my opinion, is a decidedly cool-weather cookware. So I say make this all year round. Eat it on buns, straight up on a plate, with a side of collard greens (because that’s how they’d do it in North Carolina guys!) or roasted squash.
This pulled pork does have some ketchup in it, but it not sauce-drenched. It takes a little thinking and planning ahead, but not a whole lot of hands on work. My timeline went like this:
- buy pork at farmer’s market on Saturday
- leave pork out on counter to thaw until Sunday morning
- wake up Sunday to cat and dog scuffling over raw pork butt on kitchen floor, after cat has jumped up on counter and knocked pork to the floor (no cat eyeballs were harmed in the making of this pulled pork)
- rub spice mix onto pork Sunday night, put pork in refrigerator overnight
- make sauce Sunday night and store in jar in refrigerator
- put pork and half of sauce in slow cooker Monday morning and let cook (aka let house fill with tantalizing smells)