Recently while at Walmart acquiring new items for the homestead I chanced upon a slow-cooker for $8! I’d be crazy not to buy it. So I did, and carrying it home sucked. Was it worth it? Yes. A thousands times yes. Best decision ever.
For starters I jumped right in with a recipe I found for pulled pork. How hard can it possibly be? Despite the fact that I was lacking a barbeque. But apparently it can be done with a slow-cooker. As it turns out it is not that easy. Trying to wrestle the bone out of the pig shoulder was almost as hard as trying to find a pig shoulder in the meat section of the grocery store. It felt so good when I finally managed to free the bone, I held it overhead, victorious! The giant blobs of fat around it made it that much harder to remove the bone. The knife kept slipping and I had a few close calls. I was also now stuck with a pork shoulder bone that I had no idea what to do with- it is now sitting in my freezer until I figure out what to do with it.
From the beginning I was only half following the recipe. My slow-cooker is small, so I got a small pork shoulder. Mistake one was not adjusting the spices to the smaller size. I decided to make my own marinade, choosing to soak my pork in Hogsback Lager, it just seemed fitting. Mistake two was opening the slow-cooker to get a whiff of it, the alcohol had started evaporating around that time and it was just awful. It burned and made me jump back coughing. After nine hours it was finally time to remove the pork shoulder. I was really nervous as I had not been following the recipe and was afraid that I did not have enough liquid in there to keep my pork from drying out. I had gotten Brent to add in some more beer while I was out, but I really had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pork just fell apart as I tried to remove it. As I was taking it out the giant slab of fat on the side came right off. I now had a giant slab of pork fat to go with my pork bone in my “pile of pig parts I have no idea what to do with.” It was really easy to just tear it apart into little pieces, it lived up to it’s name of “pulled” pork.
Next came time to simmer the juices from the slow-cooker and add the remaining spices. Here is where things got dicey. Because I did not have the same amount of liquid (due to the extra beer having been added). It took a long time to simmer and it never quite got to the “syrupy” stage called for in the recipe. And because my pork shoulder was much smaller than called for in the recipe, the end result was severely over-salted sauce. I only realized this when I poured it over the pork and had a taste. I quickly drained the pulled pork and saved it. Mostly. It is still a tad too salty. But still not bad for my first try with a slow-cooker and given I am moreso used to the dessert side of meals.