I love this recipe because proves you can have a great version of pulled pork without a smoker. The juicy, shredded pork makes the perfect topping for cheesy nachos.
Technique tip: If you have access to an outdoor smoker, instead of liquid smoke and browning, smoke it for more flavor. Smoke with your favorite wood chips at around 275 F for 3 hours. Then transfer to the slow cooker to tenderize.
Swap option: Feel free to use your favorite store bought pico de gallo, chips and sour cream or even Greek yogurt.
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons granulated onion powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- 4 pounds bone-in pork shoulder roast (also called blade roast or butt roast)
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs oregano
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 pounds pulled pork (recipe above)
- 9 ounces restaurant style corn tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese or Mexican blend
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup salsa or pico de gallo
- Barbecue sauce
For the pork:
Combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine well. If using, rub the liquid smoke on the roast. Next, generously coat all surfaces of the pork roast with the rub mixture. Allow the roast to sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
For the braise:
1. If you have a slow cooker that has a browning function, preheat it and brown the roast on all sides. If your slow cooker doesn't have browning capability, simply use a large sauté pan on the stove over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and herbs, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until onions soften and begin to color.
2. Add apple cider vinegar and chicken stock, bring up to heat, then change mode to slow cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours, or until 190°F internal temperature.
3. Let it rest until it's cool enough to handle. Discard the herb stems and bay leaves.
For the sauce:
1. Break down the meat into shreds and discard excess fat.
2. Skim off the excess fat from the drippings and mix in the ketchup, mustard, vinegar and salt.
3. After shredding, mix in the liquid, as well as the onions and garlic. The shreds will soak up some of the juice.
For the nachos:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large ovenproof platter or skillet, place the tortilla chips and arrange half of the pork over. Sprinkle on most of the cheese leaving a little for garish.
3. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cheese is melted. Garnish with the rest of the pork, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and barbecue sauce.