Let’s have a Labor Day where we don’t have to labor over dinner!
Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork to the rescue. It cooks in the slow cooker (Crock Pot) so the day is YOURS to do other things.
Pull a few ingredients together, do a little chopping and mixing, and you’ve got dinner ready to go.
You can feed a few and have awesome leftovers or a feed a crowd for the exact same effort.
No need to heat up your oven, no need to feel left out of the BBQ scene if you don’t have an outdoor grill.
It’s all good with this one. Oh, and there’s bourbon!
Here’s what you need:
Boston Butt Pork Roast, Onion, Garlic, Olive Oil, Chicken Broth, Molasses, Peach Preserves, Soy Sauce/Tamari (GF), Balsamic Vinegar, Bourbon, Cornstarch (not pictured), Smoked Paprika, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt & Pepper.
Yes, there are a lot of ingredients but by now you probably have most of them on hand. If you don’t already have peach preserves, buy a big jar and you can make Yummy Oven Glazed Chicken the next night. See how easy that was? I’ve got almost your whole weekend covered!
I have a 3½-4 pound Boston Butt Pork Roast. Mine is boneless and tied by the butcher but if your store only has bone in, that will work just as well.
And since I am not the first person to think of having pulled pork on a summer holiday weekend, chances are very good that Boston Butt Roasts are on sale at your store right now.
Season your roast on both sides with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. I used about 1 teaspoon each per side.
Use your hands to massage the spices into the meat.
Slice one large onion
and roughly chop 5 cloves of garlic.
Use about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to coat the bottom of the slow cooker bowl then add the roast, onions, and garlic.
Try to nestle the onions around the roast.
Now for the sauce. In a microwave safe bowl (thanks Tracey!) combine 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, and 1/3 cup molasses.
Add 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari if you are gluten free.
Add about 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (feel free to adjust to your level of spicy comfort) and 1/2 cup of peach preserves.
Now for the good stuff! Add 1/4 cup of bourbon.
Nuke this in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to make the jelly stir-able, then pour it on top of the pork.
Cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 hours on low. Starts out like this…
and ends up like THIS! In the meantime, your house smells amazing.
I really did nothing other than wander by every few hours to lift the lid and spoon a little of the juice over the top of the meat. Mostly that was just so I could get a big whiff of the porky, bourbony goodness.
The pork is done when it is fork tender and pretty much falling apart when you poke at it.
Remove the pork to a bowl to cool. Cut off the strings and pull it apart into large shreds with your fingers or two forks.
Meanwhile, strain all that good cooking liquid into a gravy separator. Keep the onions that you strain out and serve them on the side. They make a pretty good topping to a pulled pork sandwich.
A gravy separator is a good gadget to own. Nothing else really does the job quite as well.
Pour your liquids into the separator then let it sit until the fat rises to the top.
Another good option, but it takes time and reheating, is to put the gravy into the refrigerator and let the fat solidify so you can scoop it off.
I really think this gets too greasy if you don’t separate the fat from the sauce liquid.
If you use the gravy separator, notice that the spout is connected to the bottom of the measuring cup rather than the top. This allows you to slowly pour out the good gravy or liquid while the grease layer floats slowly to the bottom of the cup.
Stop pouring when you get close to that fat layer. Discard the grease or fat by freezing it (I keep an empty can from chicken broth or beans in my freezer) or pouring it into the trash but NOT down the sink unless you are in love with your plumber.
Pour the separated sauce into a pot and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the sauce by half.
Mix 2 Tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup water until smooth.
After the sauce has reduced, pour about 1/2 of the cornstarch mixture and stir it in to thicken. Add more cornstarch as necessary.
You might not need all of the cornstarch. Just get the sauce a nice, pourable thickness. It doesn’t need to be super thick like store-bought BBQ sauce.
Take the sauce off the heat and add ¼ cup bourbon. More bourbon! (You had to know that was coming.)
Season to taste with salt & pepper. I’m usually one to go pretty light on the salt, but this needed a good teaspoon at least.
Pour some of the sauce over the pork and stir to combine. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
You can make this ahead and gently reheat the pork in a warm oven.
Put it on a plate, put it on a bun, grab some tots or chips, and add kale salad so you can feel righteous about yourself.
Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork – Let someone else do the labor this weekend and go have fun!
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from Cooking Light