Ahhhhh, summer. Humidity, mosquitos, losing AC function in your car. All promised by our wonderful friend that joins us from mid-April to mid-October. Or so it seems. Yes, summer is my least favorite season, but at least it inspires some great meals.
Summer promises us plenty of fresh produce from our gardens, and plenty of time to grill out. Along with fresh veggies, I crave barbecue every year when summer rears its ugly head. While sufficient and flavorful enough, store-bought barbecue just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
With this recipe, you’ll always have time to create some delicious barbecue of your own, even if the weather isn’t cooperating. While I can’t deny the superiority of the flavor of a nice smoked pork butt, not having a smoker makes having said pork a bit more difficult.
Luckily, a slow cooker (Crock Pot) is really all you need. This handy piece of equipment is able to slowly cook the pork and simultaneously boil the homemade barbecue sauce. Set it on low, and let it go.
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1/3 cup tomato ketchup
• 3-4 lb. pork butt
• ½ cup cider vinegar
For the Rub
One part each:
Three parts each:
• Brown Sugar
• Fennel Seed
• Chili Powder
• Onion Powder
• Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by mixing enough of the spice rub to generously coat the entire pork butt. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet large enough to sear your pork. Brown each side, roughly 30-45 seconds per side. Remove the pork and set aside on a plate. Don’t discard the delicious juices! Add ½ cup water and whisk up every bit of flavor.
Pour into your slow cooker, adding vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and another 1½ cups water. Whisk together all ingredients and add the browned pork butt. Cover, set on low, and step away for eight hours. Resist the urge to taste the progress. The less you open your crock pot, the more tender, moist, and flavorful your pork will be.
While your pork is cooking, you can prep your slaw. Cut roughly ¼ head of cabbage, one large peeled carrot, and about ¼ cup of cilantro. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix four parts mayo, one part cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add enough dressing to the cabbage blend to completely coat your veggies.
When you’ve finally exhausted your patience and your pork is complete, remove it from the slow cooker and add the remaining liquid to a small skillet or saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by half for approximately 10 minutes. While your sauce is reducing, pull your pork apart with two forks. Mix the pulled pork with your freshly reduced sauce.
I prefer the taste of this combo when served on an onion bun. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this moist, tangy, flavorful mouthful of pork multiple times this summer!