Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Slow Cooker Honey Pulled Pork

Truly, how many variations of pork cooked in a crock pot can there be?  I don't know, but this is another good one worth trying!  The author had me when she said this was one of her husband's most favorite meals while he was in law school.  I can relate to luring a man away from his study books long enough to enjoy a delicious meal.  And my husband was definitely a fan of this meal (while thankfully not having to study as much these days!).  I regret not making the cornmeal pancakes to serve with the meat, but my gingersnaps acted as though the Hawaiian sweet buns were like manna, so it all worked out.

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add less for less heat - I only used 1/4 tsp for the kids' sake, but they probably could have handled a bit more)
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced with white and green parts divided
  • 1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal Pancake Mix (or your favorite cornmeal pancake recipe)

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon salt, garlic, cayenne, and white part of the scallions (reserve the green parts for serving).

  • Spray insert of a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Place pork loin in the insert, then pour the honey mixture over the top. Cover and slow cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high, until the pork registers 165 degrees F on a thermometer and is no longer pink in the center. With tongs, gently remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer it to a large plate, reserving the pork juices in the slow cooker. With two forks, shred the pork. Set aside.

  • Transfer the pork juices remaining in the slow cooker to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, then add to the cooking liquid. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Return shredded pork to the slow cooker and pour the thickened sauce over the top. Toss gently to combine, then turn the slow cooker to low to keep the pork warm.  

  • Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. When ready to serve, prepare the cornmeal pancakes. As you cook the pancake batches, transfer them to a baking tray placed in the oven to keep them warm if needed.

  • To serve: Top cornmeal pancakes with pulled pork. Garnish with reserved green onion tops and serve warm.

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