Texas Style BBQ

From all of this State Fair Talk, it gets be hungry for some southern food! But so far in Texas, I haven’t been too impressed with the variety of BBQ here.

The main meat of choice is beef and the main cut of meat is brisket. Now, if cooked well I’m sure brisket can be juicy and delicious. But so far, brisket hasn’t my favorite BBQ meat… it just doesn’t fall off the bone like pork does! I’m a big fan of Carolina BBQ, especially pulled pork.

So, one day last week, I decided it was time to put my slow cooker to use and make some good old fashioned, Southern Carolina Pulled Pork…. but I gave it a Texas spin… Dr. Pepper.

That was something I was unaware of before I moved to Texas: Dr. Pepper is it’s own company! Not owned by Pepsi or Coke. And Dr. Pepper is made in Texas, so the Texans tend to love it. (I’m personally not a soda fan, but cooking with soda? Now that’s a different story).

And this pulled pork is SO versatile when it comes to dinner meals. You could go the traditional pulled pork sandwich route, or you can get a little more creative. Try a:

Pulled Pork Salad

Have to get your vegetables in somehow! Or go gourmet with the pulled pork with a:

Goat Cheese Pork Quesadilla 

This was my personal favorite. Goat cheese, pulled pork, Dr. Pepper sauce, all wrapped around a sprouted Ezekiel Tortilla and heated to perfection. And as always, with a side salad. Vegetables are really important!

 You could get even more creative with the pork and have a Tex-Mex twist with enchiladas! But this pulled pork was a very easy meal to make for the whole family and you will have leftovers for days!!

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Print recipe here!

 Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs. pork shoulder (aka: pork butt)
  • 2 – 12. oz cans Dr. Pepper
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 – 3 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1/3 cup all natural BBQ sauce
Directions

In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown meat in pan for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and delicious.  Add in the chopped onion to the skillet about 3 minutes into the cooking process.
 
Deglaze pan as needed with 1 – 2 tablespoons of Dr. Pepper.
Once browned (as shown above), remove pork shoulder and onion from skillet and add to slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients (except reserve 1/2 can Dr. Pepper) to the crock pot and set to temperature to low. Cook on low for around 8 hours.
Once cooked, remove pork shoulder carefully from the crock pot and set on a cutting board. “Pull” the pork using two forks. The meat will be very tender, so it should easily fall apart.
When the meat has cooked, retain all of the liquid in the crock pot and pour juice into a gravy separator. Allow to set, and remove all fat that had risen to the top. When that has been removed, heat the rest of the liquid in a skillet on medium low heat. Add in reserved Dr. Pepper and cook until liquid has reduced and becomes thick 20 – 25 minutes.
Collect sauce and pour on top of pulled pork for service.
 
And did I mention I don’t use my slow cooker enough?!?! The smell in my apartment was overwhelming and I cook smell the delicious BBQ cooking, even before I walked in the door. Because really, who DOESN’T want their apartment to smell like spicy, tender pulled pork?

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