Weekend Entertaining with Five-Ingredient Pulled Pork
The heat is on its way, chefs! With warmer temperatures comes the allure of outdoor activity with friends and family. How do we balance our need for delicious food with our need for Vitamin D?
In this new series, we’re sharing recipes perfect for those busier weekends when you want to both enjoy the outdoors AND entertain with a delicious meal (with minimal prep.) Stay tuned for monthly recipes perfect for your weekend lifestyle: only 5 ingredients, 20 minutes of active cooking time, and 6 or more servings. Don’t get us wrong – we love spending time in the kitchen. But when the sun is shining, we want to make time for picnics, bike rides, beach days, and lemonade stands.
First up, we’re cooking North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork. North Carolina barbecue is more vinegar-y and less tomato-y than other barbecue styles. This recipe was originally created for families, but we quickly realized the appeal for those without any tots around. There’s just one small adjustment: use your favorite beer in place of the stock if you’re cooking for adults!
Five-Ingredient North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork
8 to 10 Pounds Boneless Pork Shoulder (also known as Pork Butt)
3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 1 Cup White Vinegar 3 Cups Broth (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable or whatever you’d like!) or 3 Cups Beer of Choice
Dutch Oven (or Slow Cooker)
Salt and pepper the pork shoulder liberally, cover and refrigerate overnight. By seasoning the meat well in advance, you allow the flavor to develop to the fullest. Preheat the oven to 200°F (or the lowest setting on your oven). Place the seasoned pork shoulder and half the broth (or beer) in a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Braise in the oven for 6 to 7 hours, or until the meat is tender, falling apart and a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 190°F.
Remove the pork from the Dutch oven and carefully transfer to a cutting board. Discard the cooking liquid and wipe out the Dutch oven. Using 2 forks, shred the pork, making sure to discard any large pieces of fat or sinew. Return the shredded pork to the Dutch oven and add the sugar, as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, vinegar and remaining beer. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until well combined and heated through to ensure that the sugar dissolves.
Serve on toasted potato rolls with coleslaw, barbecue sauce, or your topping of preference. We enjoy apple slices for their bright crunch. Traveling for the weekend? This recipe packs up really well.