Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce
Juicy and delicious, this shredded pork is fall-apart tender and is easy to make using a slow cooker. Covered in a flavorful bourbon-peach barbecue sauce, this is a stress-free dinner recipe and a crowd favorite!
Servings: 8 people
- 3.5 lb pork shoulder (pork butt), fat trimmed
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup molasses
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup peach preserves
- 2 cups onions, vertically sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
To Prepare the Meat
Start off by seasoning the meat with the smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the fresh ground black pepper. Rub evenly over the shoulder until it's covered on all sides.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, sear for 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Once it's been seared, place the shoulder in the slow cooker and set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine and bring to a low rolling boil, ensuring you scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the peach preserves and whisk until combined.
From there, pour the sauce mixture over the meat in the slow cooker.
With a sharp knife, thinly slice the onion and chop the garlic. Add the onion and garlic so they top the meat.
To Slow Cook
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
When done, remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it in a 13x9 dish.
With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked onions from the liquid and place in a bowl. Set aside.
To Prepare the Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
To prepare the sauce, place the reserved liquid from the slow cooker and the cooked onions, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, garlic and onion powder in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Slowly stir the bourbon into the sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 1.5 cups.
To slightly thicken the sauce, combine 2 Tablespoons of cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour it into the sauce and whisk to combine.
Once the meat has slightly cooled, use a pair of meat claws and start shredding the meat and then set aside. Drizzle the bourbon sauce over shredded pork, ensuring you mix well to coat.
- You'll need a 6-quart electric slow cooker for this recipe.
- A lot of people tie the shoulder with a piece of twine. Personally, I don't like to do that with this recipe. I want the meat to expand while it slow cooks so the moisture can really penetrate into the meat.
- The best meat for pulled pork is pork butt, but some people use pork tenderloin. While this is an option, just know that it won't shred as well.
- A lot of slow cooker pulled pork recipes will have you discard the fat by placing the reserved liquid in a gallon size Ziplock bag so the fat can rise to the top. I omit this step because I want the fat to remain in the sauce. The fat really enhances the flavor in this dish as well as contributes to the moisture in the meat.
- We're making a vinegar based bbq sauce and whenever possible, I recommend using a flavored balsamic vinegar. A peach flavored balsamic vinegar is phenomenal in this recipe.
- I like to add a hint of smoky flavor, so I use smoked paprika.
- You can use the fork test to tell when the pork is done. Take a fork and insert it into the middle of the meat. If the fork easily turns and it is starting to fall apart, it's done.
- If you don't have meat claws, you can use two forks to shred the meat.
Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 1101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3mg