Slow-Cooker Espresso Pulled Pork
Guests will perk up at the mere sight of this tantalizing dish. “Mix spices from your pantry. Rub over pork. Set Crock-Pot. Shred. That’s all you have to do to create this deeply savory pulled pork,” says Don Baiocchi, food blogger at Paleo Gluten-Free Guy. “If you don’t have espresso powder, you can use the same amount of finely ground coffee beans.”
Makes 6 servings; prep time: 5 minutes; cook time: 5 hours on high or 9 hours on low
- 2½–3 lbs boneless pork butt or pork shoulder (if offered a choice, go for the butt)
- 1½ Tbsp instant espresso powder (finely ground coffee beans also work)
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1½–2 tsp fine sea salt (depending on size of pork butt)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional, adjust to your liking)
- Slice off the thick slab of fat (known as the fat cap) along one side of the pork butt. Place the whole butt into the slow cooker insert.
- Mix together all the spices and rub all over the meat, making sure to cover both ends and get into the nooks and crannies. You might think you don’t need all of the rub but keep massaging it all over the meat until it’s all used.
- Set your slow cooker to high for 5 hours or low for 9.
- You can shred the meat one of two ways: You can shred it directly in the slow cooker with two forks. But when you transfer it to a serving bowl or container, you probably won’t need all of the sauce. Leave about half behind. Stir to blend the meat with the liquid, taste, and add more liquid if you think it needs it. If you want to serve directly from the slow cooker, leave as is. The liquid will help keep it moist. Or you can transfer the meat to a bowl, shred it with two forks, and stir in about half the liquid.
- Taste the meat and add more liquid if it’s a bit too dry, no more than 2 tablespoons at a time.
- Optional step: If you want crispy bits of meat, spread the shredded pork out onto a baking sheet. Broil for 5–8 minutes, or until some parts are crisp.
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