I’ve tried a lot of pulled pork recipes in my time, and this is by far my favorite. It’s North Carolina style barbecue, so it’s a vinegar based sauce, which is there to serve as a compliment to the meat instead of overpowering it. The meat itself is super flavorful after chilling out in the fridge all night with a serious dry rub. It’s combined with smoked ham hocks that give it an awesome depth of flavor. Plus, it’s super easy and cooks all day in your slow cooker. I served it with corn, kale chips, and blackberry cobbler. If you are still searching for that perfect pulled pork recipe, I would definitely give this one a try!
Carolina Style Pulled Pork
Adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution, 6-8 servings
6 T brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
salt & pepper
1 (4-pound) boneless pork butt roast
2 smoked ham hocks
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
- Combine 3 T sugar, paprika, chili powder, cumin, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp pepper in bowl.
- Pierce pork with a fork all over, then cover with spice rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Place ham hocks in slow cooker, position pork on top, and pour broth over.
- Cook for 9-10 hours on low, or 5-6 hours on high, until pork is tender.
- Transfer pork & hocks to a bowl and, using forks, shred into bite-size pieces (it will further break-up when mixed with sauce).
- Discard any bones, skin, or excess fat.
- After letting braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, skim off fat using a spoon.
- Strain liquid into a saucepan and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Whisk in vinegar, ketchup, and remaining 3 T of sugar, and bring back to a simmer.
- Season with S&P to taste (note it will taste very vinegary on its own).
- Toss pork with 1-2 cups sauce, adding enough to keep meat moist.
- Serve on buns with additional sauce.