One of my absolute favorites! Traditional pulled pork is barbecued, which gives it a smoky flavor. But the slow cooker happens to be the absolute easiest way to cook pulled pork–and you can get a hint of smoke by adding chipotle chile. Serve the pulled pork with potato salad, collard greens and grits. Or make it into a sandwich and serve it on a bun with coleslaw.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large onions, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup raw cane sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup chili sauce, such as Heinz
- 1 1/2-3 teaspoons minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce (see Notes)
- 3 pounds boneless pork tenderloin
- Step 1Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 6 minutes. Add sugar and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes more. Add garlic, oregano, pepper and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook until mostly evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in chili sauce and chipotle to taste.
- Step 2Place pork in a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook until the pork is almost falling apart, about 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.
- Step 3Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Stir back into the sauce.
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To finish, bring the sauce to a simmer and continue with Steps 2 and 3. The cooked pork can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Equipment: 4-quart or larger slow cooker
Notes: Raw cane sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw) is steam-cleaned, coarse-grained and light brown in color, with a slight molasses flavor. Find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.
Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with Mexican foods at large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Turn 3 cups leftover pulled pork into Pulled-Pork Torta.
For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.