Perfectly Pulled Pork

I like meat, more importantly, I LOVE slow cooked meat. I love the tender juicy-ness and depth of flavor; they can’t be matched. I decided to cook a pork roast in my crock pot this week because I also LOVE pork and it happens to be one of the least expensive roasts out there. After browsing tons of recipes for roasts and rubs, I decided to use a generic blend of spices so that I could season the pork after cooking to fit it’s desired use. I can mix it up with some BBQ sauce for a big juicy sandwich, some taco seasoning for nachos or burritos or just some lime, cilantro and cumin for fresh quesadillas. I now have over two pounds of cooked-to-perfection pork that can be used 100 different ways. And the best part? I barely had to do anything… all the work was done while I was away at my J.O.B.

Slow Cooked Pork
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Total Recipe cost: $8.34
Servings Per Recipe: 9 (4 oz. cooked meat)
Cost per serving: $0.93
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: approx. 8 hrs. Total: 8 hrs.

INGREDIENTS COST
3.5 lbs. boneless pork roast (shoulder roast, boston butt or picnic roast) $6.43
1 medium yellow onion $0.71
1 medium bell pepper $0.50
5 cloves fresh garlic $0.30
2 Tbsp paprika $0.10
1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
1/2 tsp chili powder $0.05
2 whole bay leaves $0.105
1 tsp salt $0.05
TOTAL $8.34

STEP 1: My roast had a net around it so first I removed the net. Next, using a sharp paring knife, I cut deep slits into the meat and pushed peeled garlic cloves down inside.

raw roast

STEP 2: Next, I mixed the paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and some fresh cracked black pepper in a bowl for my spice rub. You can really use any mix of spices, this is just what I found in my cabinet. Rub the spices all over the outside of the roast, top and bottom.

rubbed pork roast

STEP 3: Place the seasoned roast in a ziplock bag or in a dish that you can cover well. Finely dice the onion and the bell pepper and add them to the bag or dish. Let the roast sit in the refrigerator over night to absorb the spices. Prepping the meat only took about ten minutes total.

marinating pork roast

STEP 4: In the morning, before I left for work, all I had to do was dump the contents of the bag into the crock pot, add 3 cups of water and the bay leaves, secure the lid and turn the heat on to low.

ready to roast

STEP 5: When I came home from work (8 hrs later), I was greeted with this beatiful, fragrant, tender roast with lots of delicious juices that were just begging to be made into gravy!

finished pork roast

STEP 6: Just use tongs, a fork or any other utensil to shred or mash the pork into strings. I fished most of the meat out using tongs then poured the rest of the contents of the slow cooker into a colander that had a large bowl underneath. I kept the little bits of meat and chopped vegetables to add to whatever I use the meat for. The juice was kept for gravy making.

NOTE: This is seriously one of the easiest and cheapest things to make, ever. My roast (which was a small one) was only $1.88 per pound. The larger roasts (6-8 lbs) were only $1.18 per pound. Crock pots range from $10 on up. If I remember correctly, mine cost about $20. If you do not have a slow cooker, you can do this in the oven on a low temperature (about 250 degrees) using a dish that has a lid. If you use the oven, be sure to do it on a day when you will be home all day long… It doesn’t seem as safe to leave the oven on while no one is home as it does the slow cooker.

If you don’t think you can use up all of your meat within a week, you can freeze some of the meat after cooking (drained of juices, in a heavy freezer quality bag) or, as I plan to do, assemble some burritos and freeze those individually. Then, when you’re broke and too tired to go to the store or cook, you can just reach in the freezer and defrost/cook a delicious homemade burrito!

Stay tuned for all of the recipes I have in store for the slow cooked pork… they’re all swirling around in my head just waiting to come to life!

If you have a favorite spice blend for roasts, feel free to share them with the rest of us!