When I was pregnant with my son, there was one thing I craved beyond any other: root beer. I searched high and low for the best root beer in the land. I tried the artisan sorts as well as the generics. It all came back to Mug. Mug root beer was the one that seemed to satisfy my craving the most. No longer pregnant, I still crave the stuff, and it makes a good cooking marinade for pulled pork too. This recipe serves a large crowd or a hungry family with leftovers for days to come.
Slow-Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- 1 (5- to 6-lb) bone-in pork shoulder butt roast
- 1 (1-oz) envelope dried onion soup mix
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (12-oz) can root beer, (I prefer Mug brand)
- 2 cups barbecue sauce, divided
- 10 hamburger buns
Trim the pork roast of excess fat. It’s okay to leave some on there—just get rid of the large, visible slabs.
Place the roast on a work surface and sprinkle it with the onion soup mix. Use clean hands to rub the mix into the meat, reaching underneath to coat all sides. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned roast in your slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the root beer and 1⁄2 cup of the barbecue sauce. Pour over the roast in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low heat for 10 to 11 hours, or until the internal temperature is above 190°F and the meat is tender enough to pull away from the bone. Remove the roast to a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes.
Pour out and discard all but about 3⁄4 cup of the juices from the slow cooker.
Use 2 forks to shred the pork, cutting around and discarding any fatty pieces.
Place all of the pulled pork back into your slow cooker with the reserved juices. Add the remaining 1 1⁄2 cups of barbecue sauce. Stir to combine and place the lid back on.
Cook on high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the pork and juices are hot and bubbly.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°F. Split the buns and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Warm in the oven until you are ready to serve. When ready, scoop the pulled pork onto the warmed buns and serve immediately.
If you don’t wish to make such a large roast, use the same ingredients for a smaller roast too. Cut down a bit on the cooking time and use less barbecue sauce when adding it in at the end. For tender pulled pork, I do not recommend trying to short-cut the recipe by cooking it on high heat. Low and slow is best!
Makes 10 sandwiches.
About the Author
Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from The Recipe Girl Cookbook by Lori Lange. Photographs by Matt Armendariz. Copyright 2013