Although I live in New England at the moment, I’ve moved around a bit. I won’t get into all the disadvantages of moving frequently and will instead share one of my favorite advantages. I love learning new recipes and discovering new food in different parts of the country! One of my favorite things about living in the south was the BBQ restaurants everywhere! Oh how I miss the BBQ!
Although I always enjoyed pulled pork, I really started to LOVE it while living in the south. You can spend all day smoking your pork. I’ve done it, and it’s great, BUT it’s a huge time commitment and a lot of work. It’s a true labor of love which I don’t mind, but I realize it’s not for everyone. So if you’re not one for an all day smoking adventure, pull out your crockpot! It might not taste quite as good, but it’s still REALLY good and so easy!!!
Here’s a picture of the pork before putting it in the slow cooker. You can use any size of pork you want but just make sure it fits in your slow cooker. If it doesn’t fit, cut it into pieces. You can season the pork with salt, pepper, and your favorite seasonings but since I was going to mix it with a lot of BBQ sauce I didn’t bother.
Pour the root beer in the bottom of the slow cooker then place the pork on top. You can also use chicken broth or your favorite cola instead of root beer.
Cover the pork and cook all day. You’ll know it’s done when it’s very tender and falling apart. Drain off the liquid and place the pork on a cutting board. Use 2 forks and shred the pork. It should pull apart really easily.
While the pork is cooking you can prepare the BBQ sauce or prepare the sauce ahead of time. Place the tomatoes, tomato paste, and onions in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
After you process the tomatoes and onion pour the mixture in a large saucepan and mix in the rest of the ingredients.
Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally and let the sauce simmer for about an hour or until desired thickness and consistency. You can see it reduces quite a bit. It will thicken a bit as it cools. Refrigerate the sauce for a few hours or until ready to serve.
You may need to adjust the ingredients in the sauce a bit to your family’s liking. If you want more of a root beer flavor, add a little root beer extract. The sauce freezes well so freeze any leftovers in a freezable container.
Mix some of the BBQ sauce in with the pork and/or serve on the side. I like to serve the pork on rolls with coleslaw, but the pork and sauce is great all by itself!
|Sweet & Spicy Root Beer BBQ Pork|| |
- 1 (12oz.) can root beer
- 1 (4-7 lbs.) pork butt (pork shoulder or boston butt)
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans no salt diced tomatoes (don’t drain)
- 1 (6 oz) can no salt tomato paste
- 1 small onion, chopped (~ 1 cup)
- 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 (12 oz) cans root beer
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- Serving suggestions: rolls & coleslaw
- Pour 1 can of root beer in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the pork in your slow cooker in root beer (if the meat is too big for your slow cooker you can cut it into pieces). Cook on low about 8-10 hours or until pork is very tender. Discard liquid from slow cooker and pull pork apart with 2 forks until shredded.
- While pork is cooking, prepare BBQ sauce. Place tomatoes, tomato paste, and onion in blender (or food processor) and process until smooth. Pour into large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vinegar, 2 cans root beer, brown sugar, molasses, liquid smoke, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and chipotle to pan and whisk to combine.
- Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook about 1 hour or until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate sauce for a few hours or until ready to serve.
- To serve, combine desired amount of BBQ sauce with pork and serve. Serve with rolls and coleslaw if desired.
SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: You may have to alter the ingredients in the BBQ sauce a little for your family’s personal taste. You can add more/less chipotle to adjust the spiciness and more/less sugar or molasses to change the sweetness. White vinegar can be substituted for the apple cider vinegar.
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