Beer Basted Pulled Pork

Last night was Holiday Potluck in One Woman’s Kitchen.  Of course yesterday was also a football Sunday.  How does one accommodate watching football at someone else’s house and cooking the entree for potluck?  A beautiful thing called the CrockPot.  Gotta love it.  A Boston Butt from Ault’s Family Farm and some Black Chocolate Stout and you’ve got a pretty decent pulled pork entree.

I’m not sure why this is called beer basted.  Even in the original recipe, not a slow cooker recipe, there’s no basting.  It’s really beer braised.  In any case, they weren’t specific about the beer so I picked the Black Chocolate Stout I had in the fridge.  Not sure that was the best choice.  The rest of the braising liquid is brown sugar, vinegar, red pepper and a few other things.  It’s a lot of sugar.  Too much sugar and not enough vinegar if you ask me.  The stout then adds quite a bit of bitterness.  It just needs a little more acid and a little more salt to balance out the bitter and sweet.

Then there’s the “sauce.”  Let me tell you folks, this isn’t sauce, it’s syrup.  You cook it down until it thickens and then as it cools it thickens some more.  It’s kind of like making caramel, about half way.  Anyway, this stuff is so sweet that I didn’t even serve it.  I used the liquid from the crock pot as the au jus for serving.  The syrup is in a little pitcher in the fridge right now.  I can’t help but think it really might make a decent, and very complex, syrup for pancakes or french toast.  We’ll see.

The potluck girls seemed to enjoy it, but maybe they were just being nice.  It’s not bad, it’s just not great.  I’m hosting book club this week too so I may set it out with some rolls.  If it’s not gone by the end of book club it’ll go home with whoever will take it.  It’s absolutely worth finishing one way or the other, but I won’t make it again.

Good?  Yeah, it’s pretty good.
Easy? CrockPots make everything easy
Good for company? It seemed to work just fine for potluck.
Special shopping? Nope.

Beer Basted Pulled Pork

Ingredients

3 cups beer
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoons ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1 teapoons dried crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (3 pound) Boston pork butt
1 small onion, diced

Directions

Bring first 9 ingredients to a boil in a very large pot. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute to blend flavors. Place onions and pork in a large slow cooker, pour half the liquid over the pork. Cover and cook on low 8 hours.

Boil remaining liquid over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Pay careful attention to the sauce near the 30 minute mark, if the mixture gets foamy, remove from heat. Cook until reduced to the consistency of syrup, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf and let cool for about 15 minutes. Mixture will thicken considerably as it cools. Top roasted pork with BBQ sauce.

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