Back when we could shop for extra meat I had found some pork that was labeled “Pork Carnitas” which sounded fancy but it is really just some pork butt/shoulder roast cut into hunks. I got a pack of the regular and one that was pre-seasoned as I didn’t know it was a cut I was already familiar with and I wasn’t sure how I was going to season it. I threw them in the freezer and promptly forgot all about them! On a side note, I feel like these hunks took less cooking time than a whole roast would have to reach the same fall-apartiness that one wants for making “pulled” pork so I wasn’t disappointed!
On to the title track! It was a random Saturday, I was up earlier than I had wanted to be as when the puppy wants to play she isn’t shy about letting folks know. Like any toddler at sunrise this is usually a temporary condition that is satisfied by a few tugs and squeaks of the “bedtime” toy but on this day her bird friends and squirrel enemies were re-enacting West Side Story on the patio and her joy could not be contained! She doesn’t understand about just watching a great drama unfold, she needs to be a part of the production! I was not ready to do anything aside from starting the coffee and finding one of those nature documentaries with the soothing narrator so I could maybe snooze a little more. I had been watching food shows the night before so when I powered on the magic box I was greeted by the much too perky for this time of morning Pioneer Woman. Before I could change the channel the puppy signaled that the saga was over for now and she was ready to come back in. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I love the Pioneer Woman! Her dishes are cute, her food is sensible and tasty and easy to make, her blog is delightful, I have no issue with this lovely lady. My issue at the moment was the circumstance I was in. All of this turned out to be not as tragic in the long run because Ree was making pulled pork!!
Pulled Pork!! I make mine the same way every time: some dry seasonings on the meat, some water and a little bit of BBQ sauce in the crock pot, simmered on low all day with lots of BBQ sauce added for the last 30 or so minutes of cooking. Not the most exciting but tasty.
Ree was bubbling along about being in a rut and thinking outside the box and using what you have on hand and this being a set it and forget it kind of dish, all of the things that I also encourage myself and others to do! Don’t be afraid to mix some things together just to see what happens!
Now, my pantry isn’t as large or well stocked as the good Pioneer Woman so I had to get 2 of the ingredients but we needed cat food so it wasn’t a big deal. By this time the rationing had started and I discovered the “carnitas” and asked someone what they were so I luckily had the meat already, I don’t usually keep the pork butt on hand because I don’t make the pulled pork often enough to give up the freezer space. I now know that I can as I don’t have to get the full roast!!
- 1 large onion
- 1 whole pork shoulder roast- 5 to 7 pounds
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can (11 oz) Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 cans (12 oz) Dr Pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 300F
- Peel the onion and cut into wedges. Place the wedges in a layer on the bottom of the cooking pot. *Dutch oven is recommended but mine isn’t big enough so I made this in the crock pot
- Generously salt and pepper the roast and set it on top of the onions in the pan
- Pour the can of peppers over top of the roast including all of the sauce. Pour in the cans of soda. Add the brown sugar to the juice and stir in. *I poured some of the soda into the can of peppers to make sure I got all of the sauce out and I didn’t want to disturb the onion layer too much so I just sprinkled the sugar around on top of the juice
- Put the lid on the pot and stick it in the oven for at least 6 hours, turning the roast two or three times. Check after 6 hours, if it isn’t falling apart cook for another hour.
- *I am going to break this one down. Take the meat out of the juice and set it to the side to cool down while we spiffy up the juice. Separate as much of the fat as you can from the cooking liquid and return it to the pot and stick it back in the oven while you pull the pork. Use what ever method you would like to separate the meat from itself; 2 forks, those fancy claw things, a cleaver or even your hands. Once the meat is ready add it back to the warm juice while you get the other stuff you are going to eat ready.
P.W. recommends serving this pork on tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese, salsa or whatever else you like. We used onion rolls and had macaroni salad with. Hawaiian rolls would be good too or Texas toast sandwiches and baked beans or a wrap with lettuce, more peppers, dried onions and cheese. So many possibilities with this one!!
I mentioned that I did mine in the crock pot and I only had about 4 pounds of meat so I started with 3 hours on low before I checked on it and it was almost forkable so I turned it over and let it go for 2 more hours. It was fairly tender at that 5 hour check but still not ready so I flipped it over again, raised the heat to medium and gave it another hour. I should have asked Google what setting on my pot was closest to the required 300 degrees so I wasn’t being such a mother hen with this!
Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!