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Shredded Apricot Pork Sandwiches

March 30, 2011

Besides the time-saving and ease factors associated with it, one of my favorite reasons for using a crock-pot is how meat just falls apart cooked this way. You are always left with moist, tender pork, beef, chicken, etc. The perfect use for this? Pulled pork!

I discovered this recipe several years ago and keep coming back to it time after time (cue Cyndi Lauper). The apricot preserves gave the run of the mill pulled pork an extra boost of flavor that was perfectly unexpected and delicious.

I served it with some cole slaw and sweet potato steak fries for a fabulous barbecue style dinner. Please don’t judge the dish based on the picture, however. It is very hard to make pulled pork look pretty!

Shredded Apricot Pork Sandwiches
Yields: 10 Servings

2 medium Onion (thinly sliced)
1 cup Apricot preserves
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup Barbecue sauce
1/4 cup Cider vinegar
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1 4-pound Boneless pork top loin roast or pork shoulder roas (trimmed of fat)
1/4 cup Cold water
2 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Fresh ginger (grated)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
10 Sesame rolls (toasted)

1. Combine onions, preserves, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Place pork roast in slow cooker. Pour apricot mixture over roast. Cover; cook on LOW 8 to 9 hours.
2. Remove pork from cooking liquid to cutting board; cool slightly. Using 2 forks, shred pork into coarse shreds. Let liquid stand 5 minutes to allow fat to rise. Skim fat.
3. Combine water, cornstarch, ginger, salt and black pepper; blend well. Whisk cornstarch mixture into slow cooker liquid. Cook, covered on HIGH 15-30 minutes or until thickened. Return shredded pork to slow cooker; mix well. Serve in toasted rolls.

Kate’s Tips

This recipe is a little trickier than the chicken recipe I shared, but is still easy to put together. It takes a little more time to prep because you need to trim excess fat from the pork. Also, you will need to skim the fat from the sauce once the pork has finished cooking. This can be even more difficult than trimming the fat in the prep stage so try to limit how much fat actually makes it into the crock-pot from the very start. (Read up on my crock-pot tips to understand why you want to minimize fat when using a slow-cooker.) If you have one of those handy fat skimming tools people use to make gravy, now would be a great time to break it out!

A couple of suggestions on modifying this recipe: mix together the wet ingredients before adding the onions to the apricot mixture. Then remove the onions from the apricot mixture and layer on bottom of crock pot. (I also explain why this is a good idea in my tips!) Place trimmed pork in pot and add reserved apricot mixture on top of pork.

Light brown sugar is a suitable substitute for dark brown sugar and does not cause a taste difference.

I have not always had success thickening the sauce directly in the crock-pot. If you experience this same issue, remove the sauce to a large pot on the stove top and simmer until it thickens. Works perfectly, and faster than in the crock pot, but unfortunately it adds another pan to the clean up pile.

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