Cherry Republic BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

On July 6, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Normally I would put a pork butt in the smoker and wait 12 hours for an amazing piece of meat.  Unfortunately, a lot was going on this Fourth of July holiday weekend and well I almost forgot to cook the pork I defrosted.  It was 11am and we were getting ready to head to the beach so I needed to do something quick. So this is a solution to quick using slow.

A slower cooker (aka Crock Pot) was my solution. It was slow enough and fast enough at the same time. On high, I could have the pork ready in 6 to 8 hours the perfect amount of time for when the family came back from the beach ready to eat dinner.

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You do lose the rich smoky flavor with a slow cooker, but this recipe depends more on the barbecue sauce.  I went with one I received as a gift from Glen Arbor, Michigan’s Cherry Republic. Their Spicy Cherry BBQ Sauce has a hint of spice that still maintains the sweet cherry flavor. For a jar barbecue sauce, it’s pretty good for a sandwich like this, but you can use whatever sauce you like.

Before arriving home, we also made a quick stop for some La Brea bread bake at home ciabatta bread. They are a great option. If you can’t find them, use a rustic roll instead of a hamburger bun. You’ll enjoy it a lot more and the bread will not get soaked in sauce.

Finally for the meat, use a sustainable ranch.  For this recipe, I bought the pork at the Studio City Farmer’s Market.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Serves 4-6

3-4 lb Pork Butt
1 sweet yellow onion, sliced in half moons
4 garlic cloves, cut in half
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup bbq sauce (optional)

Combine dark brown sugar, salt, and spices into a small bowl.  Pat down the pork butt with some paper towel to make it as dry as possible and then rub the spice mixture into the pork on all sides.  Then add the onion and garlic cloves to the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place the rubbed pork on to the onion and garlic and pour in the stock around the sides so as not to wash off the rub.

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Cook for 6-8 hours on high or 10-12 hours on slow.

Remove the pork when done and then strain the liquid left in the slow cooker, reserving the liquid and discarding any onions, garlic, and fat.  Pull the pork by removing strands of meat and placing them back into the slow cooker and then add 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid back into the pot along with the bbq sauce of your choice.  Mix it up and then let it cook on low for 20 minutes in the slow cooker.

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Serve on hard bread rolls along with sides of your choosing.

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Hickory-Smoked Beef Brisket

On September 7, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I decided to do a modified version of this recipe from the LA Times. Last night I made a rotisserie chicken and tonight I decided to do a rotisserie version of beef brisket that actually turned out fantastic. The meat was very moist and I put in adjusted cooking times from the LA Times recipe to account for a smaller piece of meat. The recipe that follows works great for a 2-2 1/2 pound brisket. If you want to use a larger piece, follow the LA Times recipe.

For the barbecue sauce, I went with Bandana’s BBQ sauce from St. Louis, Missouri. I used their Sweet & Smoky version which went very well with the hickory smoked meat.

Hickory-Smoked Beef Brisket
Serves 4

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (2 1/2 pound) beef brisket with a layer of fat no thicker than 1/2 -inch

2 bottles of beer

1 cup water

Hickory chips, soaked

1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin and garlic powder. Rub the mix into the brisket and let sit at room temperature, 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your smoker or grill to cook over low, indirect heat for several hours. Set up a drip pan underneath where the brisket will smoke, and fill with the beer and water. Shortly before cooking, adjust the heat as needed to maintain a temperature around 250 degrees, and add hickory chips to start smoking.

3. Place the brisket on a rotisserie rack and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Set a pan with beer and water mixture below rotating beef making sure the beef dips into the basting sauce. Adjust the heat as needed (add several coals to either side of the grill as needed if using a kettle grill) to maintain the ambient temperature (around 250 degrees); replenish the chips as needed to keep smoking. The rotisserie will baste the brisket keeping it moist.

4. After 1 1/2 hours, wrap the brisket (fat side up) tightly in foil and continue to cook over indirect low heat until the meat is fork-tender, 2 additional hours (time may vary depending on the heat of the smoker and size and thickness of the brisket).

5. Remove the brisket from heat and, still wrapped in foil, cover it with a layer of newspaper and kitchen towels to keep warm. Set aside, covered, for at least 15 minutes before serving.

6. Slice against the grain of the meat and plate. Squirt barbecue sauce over meat and serve an extra portion of sauce on the side.

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