As much as I love my slow cooker, I seem to find myself using it to make the same things over and over again. I know that I could be doing lots more with it. So, my project's going to require me to make some new things in my slow cooker.
For Christmas, a friend got me a copy of America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Cookbook. I love America's Test Kitchen. I signed up to be a recipe tester with them (which is totally fun, and you should do it too). And I've got a couple of their cookbooks, which have become my "go to" source for a lot of recipes.
In my family, eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day is traditional. My mom used to hide a dime in the kraut, and whoever got the dime in their serving was supposed to have extra special good luck in the next year. The rest of us just got regular good luck, by virtue of eating the pork and kraut at all.
Well, I didn't feel like making pork and kraut, but they did have pork shoulder butt at Costco, so I bought some of that. Costco calls them "boneless ribs," which is an oxymoron, but then again, it's just as nonsensical that pork butt actually comes from the shoulder and not the rear of the pig.
I poked a bunch of holes all over the meat with a fork. Then I made a rub out of 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon each of cumin, onion powder and garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of cayenne, salt and pepper. I smeared the mixture all over my butt--um, my pork butt. And then I wrapped my butt in plastic wrap and sat it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Not as many hours as the cookbook said, but I didn't really time it well. It doesn't matter, really, because (spoiler alert), the pork turned out to be really delicious.
After a few hours, I put the meat in the crockpot, and poured a cup of barbeque sauce over it. I cooked it on high for about seven hours, and when it was done, the meat was falling off the bone. Or, rather, the meat would have been falling off the bone, but these were "boneless ribs" remember. I shredded the pork with two forks, while my devoted, long-suffering spouse, David, skimmed the fat off of the braising liquid in the crockpot. I added a cup of the braising liquid to the shredded meat to keep it moist, and then served it with some barbeque sauce on the side.
In the meantime, David made some delicious black-eyed peas, which were a perfect compliment to the pork.