Pork shoulder in the slow cooker

Simple, delicious, and – did I mention simple? A great way to feed a crowd. I learned this basic idea from my son Ben. The Hawaiian sea salt adds a subtle “something else” that takes the dish above the ordinary. This salt is coarse-grained and a rosy-red in color,  showing off the trace minerals found in sea water – the sea water near Hawaii anyway – that provide the extra flavors. The smoke flavor is optional, per your preference.

1 pork shoulder about 8 pounds (does not need to be precise weight). Bone in or boned, tied with kitchen string if the latter
3 TB Alaea Hawaiian sea salt
Liquid smoke seasoning as needed (optional, about 1/4 c)
1 c ginger ale

The evening before, put the meat in the slow cooker’s ceramic insert and brush all over with the liquid smoke (if using). Use your hands to rub the salt into the meat all over. Arrange the meat fatty side up and cover with plastic wrap. Into the fridge overnight.

The next morning, remove the ceramic insert from the fridge and put into the body of the slow cooker. Pour the ginger ale around the meat – not over it, as it will wash off the salt. Cover and put the slow cooker on high. Because the meat is large and cold, it will take a while to get the cooking going.  Once the juices are simmering gently – 2 or 3 hours – turn the setting to low. Go away.

Later, maybe 8 hours, it is really not critical, you can return. Use a bulb baster to remove most of the liquid from the cooker. Let the liquid sit for 5 minutes then skim off the fat (there will be a lot), discard the fat. The remaining pan juices are your “gravy.”

Remove the pork to a large bowl. It will be falling-apart tender. Discard any bones. Ready to eat! Nice accompaniments, other than the pan juices, are:

  • BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s for example).
  • Lingonberry preserves.
  • A really good mustard, such as Kozlick’s fig and balsamic mustard.
Explore posts in the same categories: Pork

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