The Easiest Crockpot Pulled Pork

The story reeks of déjà heard. You do a special grocery after work just to buy the required ingredients. Finicky as heck, you double check that the boneless shoulder roast weighs 3.5 lbs as dictated, no more, no less. Once home, it’s everybody out of the way cause YOU are cooking. You start by searing the pork while simulteaneously giving hell to a telemarketer. These people call at supper time actually expecting a polite answer? Really?

The tomato paste and seasonings go hop into the pan the moment you slam down the phone. Then on to the crockpot it is, for 8-10 hours of simmering. Since it’s evening, you ask the boyfriend —AKA the early riser— to turn off the crockpot the moment he wakes up.

All night the aromas of sloooooow-cooking piggy float through the house. Tomato sauce, chili, Worcestershire, onion and garlic fill your nose so much so that you wake up feeling as if you ate, and not slept, the night away. You come down, eyes swollen with sleep, bring on the coffee, a woman’s work is never done. You now need to pull apart the pork roast and return it to bathe some more in the barbecue sauce that seems to saturate (forever?) the walls of your home.

There, on the countertop, awaits the hot, foggy crockpot that your boyfriend forgot to close. Instead of 8 hours, your pulled pork has been treated to 13 (!) hours of simmering. And your temper is pretty much boiling over too.

Monsieur defends himself in a desperate crescendo of male uneasiness:

“You never asked me to shut the crockpot…!” followed by

“How was I supposed to remember after a full night’s sleep?”

and the clincher “Anyways, the longer you leave food to cook in a crockpot, the better it is… Right?”

Against all hope, once I added a good cup of water to the nearly-evaporated sauce, it was the bomb. But if I were you, I’d still limit myself to 10 hours max. Don’t rely on my experience. And maybe don’t rely on your boyfriend either?
* Cooking time may vary from one crockpot to another. Your crockpot can be powerful or not. It’s better to check pork after 8 hours, then cook more if needed. Avoid lifting cover before. Every time you peek, you should add 15-20 minutes to cooking time.

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  • 1. Season pork generously. In a Dutch oven or large pan, heat oil and sear pork on all sides over medium-high heat. Transfer to crockpot.
  • 2. Skim off cooking fat in Dutch oven, keeping only 15 ml (1 tbsp). Add in onions, garlic, chili, coriander and bay leaves. Mixing often, cook 5 minutes over medium heat until onions start to soften.
  • 3. Add tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring often, 2 minutes or until paste takes on a deep, darker colour.
  • 4. Blend in remaining ingredients, except green onions, and bring to a boil. Scrape bottom of Dutch oven to loosen browned bits. Pour into crockpot, coating roast pork. Cover and simmer on low 8 to 10 hours*.
  • 5. Once cooked, transfer roast to a cutting board or large plate, then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let meat rest 10 minutes.
  • 6. Meanwhile, skim fat from cooking liquid inside crockpot (you want to have 750 ml/3 cups of liquid; if you have more, transfer to a pan and boil on high to reduce; as you may have read above, if you have less, it’s also possible to just add water…). Remove bay leaves.
  • 7. With a fork, gently pull apart pork roast into strips, add to sauce in crockpot and mix well. If needed, you can also reheat in a pot. Garnish with green onions when serving, with small rolls and coleslaw (like my Maple Pecan Coleslaw here).
  • 8. Note: This pulled pork will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen.