So I got this new Crock Pot. It’s a 6-quart model that is something I’d been eyeing for a while now as the old one had a melted lid, was 4-quart and only had a Low and High setting. After I brought it home and washed it, I thought about what would be the first dish to break it in with and decided on this recipe for Pulled Pork with Root Beer Glaze.
There’s nothing like the smell of a roast, cooked low and slow, that permeates your house as it cooks, and the same goes for a slow cooker. So I thought about it and opted for a pork shoulder. First off I would change up my usual pork roast dry rub that has brown sugar and would work in root beer. I had just read a recipe that basted the turkey in beer and thought why not use root beer in my dish? It has that sweet element and I love the taste of Henry Weinhards, which I just picked up at the market.
After rubbing the pork shoulder all over with a mixture of chili, garlic and onion powders, smoked paprika, dry mustard and fennel and celery seeds I got the root beer reducing. I wanted to incorporate a basting sauce of some tasty BBQ sauce and a condensed root beer syrup. So I poured one bottle of the root beer in a saucepan and reduced it to 1/3 of a cup of thick and gooey root beer syrup.
When we went to Nashville one year to visit Dave’s brother we were taken to The Loveless Cafe. Talk about amazing food, and every year we get a wonderful care package from my sister-in-law from there. Our favorite is the smoked ham pieces I usually pan fry and use with grits and the other is this wonderful Sweet with a Bite BBQ Sauce. I decided this BBQ sauce and the root beer reduction would be the liquid used in slow cooking the pork.
I chopped an onion and lay that on the bottom of the crock pot and put the dry rubbed pork shoulder on top of them. I poured 1 bottle of Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer and the BBQ sauce over the pork and then drizzled the root beer reduction over the roast and closed the lid. Set the timer for 8 hours and we would be feasting!
The pork ended up to be super tender and flavorful. I literally touched the bone and the meat fell away without a struggle. Discarding the bone I got the forks out and removed the pork to shred the meat and set a side. I poured the onions, root beer and BBQ sauce mixture into a saucepan and used my immersion hand blender to purée. Next I reduced that to a catsup type consistency and poured it over the shredded pulled pork.
I was able to pick up some Telera Sandwich Rolls, they are similar to a chibatta bread roll and toasted them in the oven to crisp up. They were perfect to hold the juicy meat and sauce without falling apart or being too heavy.
While the pork was cooking I made a Peach and Tarragon Coleslaw and with a ice cold Root Beer it was a perfect meal. Look at how delicious the pulled pork was? The tangy crunch of the coleslaw was a perfect foil to the unctuous, sweet and spicy pulled pork sandwich.
These were so good and napkins were definitely needed… after I licked my fingers.
- 4 lb pork shoulder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp celery seed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 bottles root beer
- 24 oz favorite BBQ sauce
- Mix the chili, garlic and onion powders, salt, dry mustard, paprika and fennel and celery seeds together with a whisk in a small bowl. Add all to a spice grinder or food processor and pulse several times to blend. Rub the pork shoulder all over and press dry rub into the meat. Set aside.
- Pour 1 bottle of root beer in a small saucepan and reduce to ⅓ cup of syrup.
- Chop an onion and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the dry rubbed pork shoulder on top of the onions and pour the 1 bottle of root beer and your favorite BBQ sauce over the pork. Top with root beer syrup and cook for 8 hours.
- Remove pork to a plate, remove any bone and pull the pork (shred). Set aside.
- Pour the onion, root beer and BBQ sauce mixture into a saucepan and either use a hand immersion blender or pour it into a blender and purée. Cook and reduce until it is a catsup like consistency and pour over the pulled pork.
- Serve the glazed pulled pork on a toasted roll or bun of choice with a side of Peach and Tarragon Coleslaw, a ice cold root beer and enjoy!