Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Cook pork shoulder low and slow for hours with brown sugar, spices and a little apple cider vinegar until it becomes smoky and pull-apart tender without ever entering a smoker.
|3 tablespoons||light brown sugar|
|2 teaspoons||hot paprika|
|1 teaspoon||mustard powder|
|1/2 teaspoon||ground cumin|
|kosher salt and freshly ground pepper|
|1||3-to-4-pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat|
|2 teaspoons||vegetable oil|
|1/2 cup||apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste|
|3 tablespoons||tomato paste|
|barbecue sauce and prepared coleslaw, for serving|
Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, the paprika, mustard powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet; add the pork and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 5 minutes. Remove the pork and transfer to a plate; whisk 3/4 cup water into the drippings in the skillet. Transfer the liquid to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker.
Add the vinegar, tomato paste, the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 cups water to the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Add the pork, cover and cook on low, 8 hours.
Remove the pork and transfer to a cutting board. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Roughly chop the pork and mix in a bowl with 1 cup of the reduced cooking liquid, and salt and vinegar to taste. Serve on buns with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.
Photograph by Christopher Testani