It’s really hard to improve on old-fashioned pulled pork. You can grill it, smoke it, slow-cook it, braise it, as long as you cook it slowly with love and patience.
That sweet and sour and spicy flavor can’t be rushed.
My slow-cooker method is one of my favorite recipes ever, but last week I was in the mood for something completely different. Mexican Pulled Pork, from simplyrecipes.com,, encrusted with a blend of heavy seasonings, didn’t last long in my house. It’s hard to believe John and I ate a 3-pound pork shoulder in four days. I’ll blame him, the always-hungry runner, but I will admit to enjoying my generous share.
I added chopped bell peppers and onions, and, perhaps unwisely, a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
The vegetables were great, but the water they released made the mixture a little too soupy. I probably should have drained the tomatoes first or gone without them.
Also, the recipe said it would cook six to 10 hours on low. That’s quite a range. I poked at the meat after four hours and it was still pretty tight, so I upped the heat to high and after seven hours total, it was perfect. My regular pulled pork recipe calls for eight hours on high, so when I make this again, I think I’ll just start with high heat.
The key to the bold flavor of this dish is to rub the spices on generously, let them sink in for an hour, and then brown the meat all the surfaces before putting it into the slow cooker, or on the grill, or in the back seat of your car this summer, and then cook it until fall-apart tender.