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Kitchen Scoop

Slow cooker recipe features the best of North Carolina BBQ

By: Alicia Ross, for the Auburn Journal
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Mac’s Eastern N.C. Barbecue Pork
Start to finish: 20 minutes prep, 6 to 12 hours unattended slow-cooking time
Yield: a 5-pound roast makes about 8 to 9 cups of shredded pork and about 20 (4-ounce) servings
    
Ingredients
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (4- to 6-pound) pork butt or pork shoulder roast
2 medium onions, quartered
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Hamburger buns, for serving
    
Directions
Combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt and black pepper. Trim the pork of excess fat. Rub spice mix into the pork. Place the onion quarters in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place the pork over the onions.
Combine the vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper, sugar, mustard, garlic salt and cayenne pepper. Drizzle about 1/3 of the mixture over the pork. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 5 to 6 hours on high or 10 to 12 hours on low. Drizzle another 1/3 of the sauce over the pork in the last half-hour. When pork is fork-tender, remove from the slow cooker and shred/chop to desired consistency. Pour off the remaining juices in the slow cooker and return the chopped meat and onions to the slow cooker. Add the remaining 1/3 sauce, if desired, to the slow cooker or serve with pork at the table. Serve on buns, if desired.
Approximate values per (4-ounce) serving: 232 calories, 8 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 104 mg cholesterol, 35 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, no dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 308 mg sodium.

Suggested menu:
Mac’s Eastern N.C. Barbecue Pork
Baked beans
Coleslaw

After Thanksgiving, you’ll probably be getting tired of turkey soon. I know I can get bored with the same old meat this time of year. While I’m all about using generous leftovers in inventive ways, sometimes it’s nice to serve something completely different when you have a houseful of company.
Frequently in this part of North Carolina, barbecue is a go-to choice to feed a crowd. So, when I recently went to a co-worker’s house party, I wasn’t surprised to find a moist and fragrant barbecue pork simmering in the slow cooker beside a basketful of buns. I asked the host where he’d purchased the barbecue, as it was particularly flavorful and I wanted to know where I could buy some of my own. He was proud to tell me that he’d made it himself and would gladly share the recipe.
Right in the middle of the party, I pulled out my iPhone and snapped a photo of the 3-by-5-inch card he’d written the recipe on. I’ve since shared the recipe with at least 10 others, and now I’m happy to share it with you. It is an authentic-tasting Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue recipe, full of red pepper heat and vinegar vigor. Made to slow-cook on the countertop instead of over oak embers, it’s perfect for a hungry crowd any time of year. I hope you enjoy!
Alicia Ross is the co-author of “Desperation Dinners!” (Workman, 1997), “Desperation Entertaining!” (Workman, 2002) and “Cheap. Fast. Good!” (Workman, 2006). Contact her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Or visit the Kitchen Scoop website at www.kitchenscoop.com.