Monday, June 23, 2014

Slow-Cooker Cola Pulled Pork

Can we all agree that the new McDonald's Happy Meal mascot is totally creepy?

Seriously, is he trying to scare the kids away from eating the food inside?

And where is his nose?

We don't get McDonald's that often. I have nothing against it. We just usually have so much food around the house, in the car, and stuffed in my purse that we don't need it. Yes, I carry food with me everywhere.

Well, the other day I picked my kiddo up from preschool, drove home, pulled into the driveway, and then decided that I needed McDonald's. Like needed needed. Like when you are pregnant and it's midnight and you need a milkshake with gummy bears RIGHT NOW. No, I'm not pregnant, but I was recovering from a week long stomach flu. I wasn't in my right mind.

Anyway, I pulled the car back out of the driveway, drove straight to McDonald's, and ordered large french fries, a large Diet Coke, a salad, and a Happy Meal. Like I said, I wasn't in my right mind, but that's what my stomach wanted. Everything was good until we got to the Happy Meal. What in the heck is that?! There was a big red box, with two huge eyes, and an extremely large mouth and tongue staring at me. Gross. I guess I'm not the only one who's confused. There are some pretty funny videos and articles on the internet about this. You should check them out.

On to the pulled pork...All I can say about this pork is that it is amazing! The ingredient list looks long, but it is really easy to throw together. All you have to do is place the pork shoulder in the slow-cooker, rub with a mixture of seasonings, and pour your favorite cola all around. I'm sure this would also work with Dr. Pepper or Root Beer. Cook until nice and tender, shred the meat with a fork, and serve.

I served this as a pulled pork sandwich topped with homemade BBQ sauce the first night, and as tacos the second night. I might even try this on nachos next time. Mmmmm... 

Slow-Cooker Cola Pulled Pork
Servings: 8

5-6 lb. pork shoulder roast (Boston Butt)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 (12 oz.) cans Coca-Cola or Pepsi
1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
Salt and pepper
Barbecue sauce for serving (homemade or store-bought)
Lightly toasted hamburger buns
Coleslaw or shredded lettuce for topping

Place the pork shoulder in the bottom of a slow-cooker. In a small bowl, whisk the chili powder, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne together. Sprinkle all over the pork and rub in on all sides. (Leave excess rub in the slow-cooker). 

Pour the soda and liquid smoke around the pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, turning once, until the pork easily shreds with a fork. Transfer the pork to a cutting board or baking sheet and shred with two forks, discarding excess fat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with barbecue sauce and shredded cabbage/lettuce on a toasted bun. 

Optional: If you like your pulled pork smothered in barbecue sauce, you can also return the shredded pork to the slow-cooker (after draining off all the liquid), toss with your favorite barbecue sauce, and keep on warm. This is perfect for parties!

(Gluten-free option: Serve on top of coleslaw, in a corn tortilla, or use a gf hamburger bun.)

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