One of my favorite farm to fork restaurants here in Davis serves a great pulled pork sandwich. It’s a rotation meal (not always on the menu) but when it’s there, I love to treat myself to lunch once in a while. It comes with a very mild barbecue sauce and if I could change just one thing, I would definitely make it heavier on the sauce both in taste and quantity. So I decided make my own version. I am a gal who likes a messy pulled pork sammi – dripping with sauce thank you very much. I planned on buying sauce, but found they were all loaded with with cane-sugar (or corn syrup, or something else nasty I didn’t want to ingest). So I just made my own. I found a recipe online that looked pretty painless and made a few adjustments. The verdict: success! It’s everything I love about barbecue sauce – thick, sweet, and tangy. And oh man, did it go great with the pulled pork. Fabulous!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
with Homemade Barbecue Sauce
-2 1/2 pounds of boneless pork leg*
-2 teaspoons salt
-2 teaspoons garlic granules
-2 teaspoon onion granules
-1 tablespoon coconut sugar
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup diced red onion
-2 teaspoons oil + dash of salt
-1 teaspoon garlic granules, or 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
-2 tablespoons tomato paste
-1 teaspoon cumin
-2 cups tomato sauce*
-1/2 cup water
-2 tablespoons black strip molasses*
-1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
-1 teaspoon salt
-Freshly ground pepper to taste
For the pork
1. Remove any twine around the meat. Place the pork in the slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix together the spices. Then sprinkle the spices over the pork and rub it in all around.
2. Add the water to the bottom of the pork.
3. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours (or longer).
4. When the pork is finished, remove it from the slow cooker. Trim off large pieces of fat. Cut the pork in 4 sections against the grain, then with a fork, pull it apart against the grain.
5. Remove leftover contents in the slow cooker (water and any large pieces of fat).
6. Place the meat back into the slow cooker with 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce. Or add as much or as little as you want.
7. Set the slow cooker to warm and cover until you serve.
For the sauce
1. In a medium sauce pan add the diced onions, oil, and dash of salt. Saute until tender (4 – 5 minutes).
2. Add the garlic and saute another minute.
3. To the pan now add in the tomato paste, cumin, tomato sauce, water, molasses, coconut sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, salt, and a turn off the pepper grinder.
4. Bring to a gentle boil. Immediately turn the heat down to a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
5. Remove from heat and allow to cool bit. Then you can either add it to a blender or use an immersion blender to incorporate and thicken (I use the latter – so easy).
6. I then transfer to glass jar and set it at room temp until I combine it with the pork. The sauce will keep for weeks in the fridge.
*You can use any cut of meat including loin or butt. The leg is my favorite cut if you can find it – nice marbling with way less fat.
*I found a great salt free organic tomato sauce in a glass jar that was cheaper than purchasing fresh tomatoes and making my own.
*Honey or maple syrup can be used in place of the molasses.
I love lots of sauce too! This looks SO good Amber! I can’t wait to get a slow cooker, I have wanted one for a long time. I plan on getting one in the next month or so and I will be making this. I’m so excited that you shared about the restaurant too. We rarely dine out, but my husband was in Davis recently and said he saw this restaurant that he thought I would like and wants to take me there for a date. Good to know it’s a good one Have a great weekend! xo
Yum! I do love pulled pork! This recipe sounds fantastic!
I will be trying this soon Amber! We love pulled pork!
My husband goes nuts for pulled pork-stoked to make this healthy version!!!
Amber this looks incredible! I might try with beef as Im not a big pork person. I made a yummy bbq sauce recently for bison ribs. I will be trying your recipe for sure!
This looks fantastic! I am wondering what garlic and onion granules are and where you find them. Those bagels in the pictures look delicious. Are they gluten-free too? Any source? Thanks.
Hi Ann. They are from the bulk section of my Coop, but you can find them in any spice isle. And ha ha, those aren’t bagels. I had to go back and look at the post because I was thinking, “What bagels?” The bread is just indented. It’s a gluten free bun (Canyon Bakehouse). Thanks.