Saturday, April 28, 2012

Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwiches

So, I've taken an unintentional hiatus from blogging while I finished up my dissertation prospectus.  But, this past week I successfully defended my prospectus so I feel (probably wrongly) that my life can calm down a little bit because I don't have any major looming deadlines.
Being at school in Saint Louis, I've come to especially appreciate barbecue. My husband and I try to go hiking every weekend and then check out a new barbecue joint near where we hike. One of my favorite things to get at Pappy's Smokehouse (as seen on Man v. Food!) is the pulled pork sandwich.

Back in June, before my husband and I moved into our new apartment, I made pulled pork in the crock pot for him and my roommate.  This recipe, from the Crock Pot Incredibly Easy Recipes cookbook, is really easy to do but you have to make sure that you start it early enough because it takes a long time to cook.

The first step is simple: placing a pork shoulder roast into the crock pot and cooking it on low for 10-12 hours (if you're short on time, you could do it on high and cut the time in half).  The first image posted above is of the roast after it was finished cooking.  I forgot to take a "before" picture, but it's not that interesting because it's only a raw pork roast in a crock pot.

After the roast is done cooking, you take it out of the crock pot and dump out the fatty liquid left over from cooking.  You take the roast and remove any extra fat from the outside (though I recommend cutting as much off as you can before you cook it) and shred the entire thing using two forks -- so it looks like the pulled pork you're used to.

Add the pork back into the crock pot with chopped onion, barbecue sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar, mixing everything together.  You can use whatever type of barbecue sauce you want.  As you can see in the image above, I picked one that was a Budweiser barbecue sauce because it looked interesting and was on sale.  Then, you turn it on again and and cook for 2 hours on low (or half that time on high).  If I recall correctly, I think I cooked the roast initially on high, then did the pulled pork mix on low.

This is what it looks like before turning it on.

And this is what it looks like after it's done (so... not all that different).

As you would expect, the pulled pork is served on hamburger buns or other similar rolls.  Additionally, as you can see from the image below, this is one of the crock pot dishes where the final dish actually looks something like the image that they have in the book so it's possible that they made the food from this image in the crock pot!

In terms of servings, this recipe says that it makes eight servings, but obviously you can get either more or less depending on how much meat you put in each sandwich.  I think we ended up getting less than eight servings, but since I can't remember completely (I know -- I really should update about things I make right after I make them so I can remember) I'm going to use their number to calculate calories and cost.  In terms of calories, this isn't bad at all for a pulled pork sandwich!  I calculated about 525 calories per sandwich, but it might actually be a little less than that because (as I've mentioned in other posts) the calories are for the weight of the meat when cooked, but I only know the weight raw.  In terms of cost, this is a great savings.  If you had to purchase everything, it would only be about $2.03 per serving.  And it actually might be a little less depending on, for example, the size of the lemon juice you buy (I could only find the price for 32 oz lemon juice, but if you were to purchase a smaller container or a lemon itself, it would be less).  We already had brown sugar and lemon juice because those are staples that I always have on hand, so I only paid about $1.56 per serving!  You'd get about a week's worth of meals on this one if you're married (unless your husband normally eats two servings, in which case it would be less) and if you're single, you'd be covered for dinners into the next week (if you can stand eating pulled pork every night for dinner, that is).

Anyway, this recipe was amazing and what impresses me most about it is how easy it is.  That was really good for me at the time because I was trying also to pack for moving and to read for my second year exams!

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