Slow Cooker Summer: Pulled Pork

Professional caterer Terry John Zila encourages you to pull out your slow cooker in the summer, too! He starts Twin Cities Live’s Slow Cooker Summer series with a recipe for slow cooker pulled pork.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork


2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
3-4 cups low sodium vegetable stock


1. Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
2. Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
3. If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Set shredded meat aside.
4. In a large stockpot, melt the unsalted butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 10-15 minutes.
5. Slowly add the vegetable stock. Note, the flour/butter mixture will seize up. This is fine. As you add more liquid in increments, the mixture will become more fluid.
6. When you have added all the stock, return the fat-skimmed cooking liquid to the flour sauce and bring to a simmer.
7. When sauce has thickened, add the shredded pork and heat through before serving.
Season to taste with salt and pepper

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