Slow Cooker Recipe Pulled Pork with Low-Sugar
As soon as I mentioned on Facebook that I was making a version of pulled pork with low-sugar barbecue sauce, I had people asking me to post the recipe. That didn't surprise me, since this is a classic American dish, but I do want to start out by saying that one reason I decided to tackle this was because I find most barbecue sauce recipes to be too sweet, without enough complex flavor undertones. I wanted to see if I could come up with a version that would suit my preference for more savory flavors, so if you try this recipe, be prepared for a sauce with plenty of mustard flavor, smokiness, and spice, and just the barest touch of sweetness. I did try it out on several people who all gave it a thumbs up, but if you're a fan of sweet sauces, this may not be the barbecue sauce recipe for you.
Even without the sugary barbecue sauce, pulled pork is something that required some thought about how to make it friendly to the South Beach Diet, which recommends meat with less than 10% fat. I started with a crockpot recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork that I'd spotted on Prudence Pennywise. Then I consulted my butcher for ideas about a lean cut of pork that would pull apart when cooked for a long time at a low temperature, and ended up going with a pork loin roast that I cut into two pieces against the grain, so I had shreds of pork that were 3-4 inches long. For the sauce I used mostly Splenda, but I did add a bit of brown sugar. You could certainly make this with all Splenda if you wanted it for phase one. Finally, read below about the reduced sugar ketchup that was the base of my sauce.I trimmed all the outside fat off my pork loin roast, and then cut it in half against the grain. This roast was about 2 pounds after trimming, but next time I'd get one just a little bigger.
When the meat is done enough to pull apart easily, remove from crockpot with a slotted spoon., then shred with two forks. (I ate some before I took this photo, so a two pound roast will be a little more than this!) Pork should cook about 7-8 hours, on low, depending on how hot your crockpot cooks.
3 pounds boneless pork loin roast (trim all visible fat, roast should be about 2 1/2 pounds after trimming)
olive oil, for spraying crockpot (or use non-stick spray)
1/2 cup reduced-sugar ketchup (the Heinz reduced sugar ketchup has 1 gram sugar per tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 Tablespoons Splenda
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it, or use all Splenda if you prefer)
(You can also use 1/3 cup Splenda-brown sugar blend, which will make the sauce a bit higher in sugar)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup mustard (regular yellow mustard, not Dijon)
2 teaspoon green Tabasco (or 1 teaspoon red Tabasco)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (or more, optional but recommended)
Mix the barbecue sauce in a measuring cup or bowl.
I tasted a few times and added a little more of this or that until it tasted good to me.
(The flavors will get more intense as it cooks.)
Spray slow cooker with olive oil or non-stick spray.
Trim all visible fat from pork loin roast, then cut in half against the grain and place in slow cooker.
Combine reduced sugar ketchup, tomato sauce, Splenda, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, green Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and Liquid Smoke in measuring cup or bowl and whisk together, then pour over roast.
Turn slow cooker to low and cook 7-8 hours, or until meat shreds apart easily.
Use a slotted spoon to remove meat from slow cooker, and place on cutting board.
Check the sauce in slow cooker and if you'd like it a bit thicker, pour sauce into small saucepan and simmer at medium-low heat until reduced by 1/3, probably not longer than 10-15 minutes.
While sauce thickens, use two forks to shred apart the meat, placing back in slow cooker to keep warm if desired.
When sauce is as thick as you want it, pour over meat.
This can be kept warm in the slow cooker for an hour or two, or served immediately.
Posted by Sass
Posted by Kalyn at 12:58 PM
(Makes about 6 generous servings, recipe adapted from Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from Prudence Pennywise.)