Drop everything!!! Did someone say Cola BBQ Pulled Pork? Whoa.
I was immediately all over this recipe. I had thought about making pulled pork before, but all the recipes I found at the time called for at least 15 ingredients. I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend 2 hours in the kitchen preparing a meal that's going to take 8 hours in a slow cooker anyway.
While scouring my favorite food websites (which I do routinely each week, since I'm a food dork) I stumbled across a post on Tastespotting which depicted a beautiful plate of pulled pork. After wiping the drool from my mouth, I clicked on it and discovered Iowa Girl Eats' recipe for pulled pork. Kristin clued me in to a well-kept secret. So well-kept, in fact, that I had never heard of it before.
This pulled pork was made with less than 5 ingredients. AND one of those ingredients was cola.
Huh? This is something I had to try.
I looked over the recipe that Kristen had posted. It seemed pretty simple, but just to make sure, I also headed on over to the Sweet & Savory blog, where Ally had posted a similar recipe. In the end, I came up with more of a guideline than a recipe. Screw measurements for just one day. You'll get the idea:
- Pork Butt (I used ~3lb but you can upgrade or downgrade as you see fit)
- Lawry's Seasoning Salt
- Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning
- Coke or Diet Coke or any cola that you like to drink
- 1/2 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
1) Generously coat the pork butt with a mixture of the Lawry's Seasoning Salt & Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning. I used these seasonings just because I like both of them and didn't feel like choosing. You can be liberal with your own choice of seasonings.
2) Place the pork butt in a crock pot and pour in enough soda to almost cover the meat.
3) Add the BBQ sauce to the meat/soda mixture.
4) Cover and cook on low for ~6.5 hours. If you have a larger piece of meat, it will probably take longer.
5) After ~5 hours, begin to shred the meat into pieces with 2 forks. Let it continue to cook sit in the juice to soak up all the flavor for the next 1.5 hours. In my case, the center of the meat was tougher to shred so I completed the shredding job in several batches.
6) The meat can stay on warm in the crock pot while serving, and can easily be reheated the next day. I personally enjoy eating the pulled pork on a wrap with extra barbecue sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. But you can serve on a roll if you want to be more traditional.
Did you blink and miss the recipe? Yeah, I thought so. It's that short.
The hardest part for me (other than waiting 6.5 hrs to eat the darn thing) was shredding the meat. Once the cooking and shredding was done though, it was time to dig in. And dig in, I did. The meat was tender and tasty. If I hadn't made it, I wouldn't have guessed the ingredients at all. The meat was flavored perfectly, thanks to the salt rub. The cola provided a syrup-y, liquid marinade in which to slow-cook the pork. And let's face it, BBQ sauce is just awesomeness in a jar. I'll admit that I sort of indulged in a few extra dollops of the Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, which by the way, is my new favorite 'cue sauce. I won't be buying anything else in the future. I could eat it with a spoon. Or my fingers. Not that I've done that or anything.
Try leaving the pork in the refrigerator overnight. (I would suggest extracting the pork from the marinade, because the cola-BBQ sauce mixture tends to be a little fatty after the slow-cooking process. Fat and cold temperatures are not friends. But if you're adventurous, feel free to do what you prefer.) The next day, the pork will be one thousand times better than it was the first day, if that's even possible.
Mmmmm I'm hungry. Let's see if I have any pulled pork left over.