Pork in the crockpot is a totally foolproof win.
Exhibit A: I am not much a meat-maker, grill master, stew lady, whatever you want to call it. I just don’t really cook meat that much, but when I do, I do pork in the crockpot. Without fail, it turns out so delicious with a very minimal effort. As in, let’s go eat candy while this machine makes our house smell good. It’s a food cheating short cut that’s legal. And even recommended.
The idea for this recipe came from my obsession with the crockpot carnitas. Yeah, THOSE crockpot carnitas. They are so good, so simple, and they make for a very happy house at dinnertime. But sometimes you just don’t want Mexican food anymore, you know? Like after eating 900 million avocados, you say to yourself: gimme a different kind of food.
So this is my new go-to for those days when you want a crockpot pork meal with a very versatile, rich flavor and that classic perfectly golden crispy exterior. And it really does go with anything: with a baked sweet potato, with a rice pilaf, on a sandwich, over some mashed potatoes, or with some polenta. Yummy yummy good good.
For this pork recipe, I welcomed Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Balsamic Dressing to the party. I love it because
- It’s not overly balsamic-y. Let’s face it – straight up balsamic is sometimes really really strong. This dressing is just slightly creamy and much milder than traditional balsamic, while still kicking a teensy bit with that balsamic tang.
- It has a short, recognizable ingredient list. Simply Dressed. Get it?
- It has a flavor that works with lots of things, so you can use it to make crockpot pork and then drizzle your freshy-fresh salad with it the next day. Versatility, kids. It’s a good thing.
Alright, rule #1 of this crockpot pork. YOU MUST BROIL THE MEAT.
It would be such a shame if you cooked your pork in the crockpot all day and then just… ate it. Juicy and delicious? Yes. Beautifully golden brown and lightly crisped? No.
You would miss out on the most deliciously golden crispy bits of meat that get that sort of caramelized exterior and my mouth is watering as I type. This is THE THING that makes it for both texture and taste. Crockpot all day long, then broil just before serving.
Once you broil, just gaze upon the beauty. It really gives this otherwise homely looking shredded meat a nice lil makeover.
Pop some color on there with some fresh herbs. WHOA SNAP POP. It looks gorgeous and tastes deeelicious. If you’re looking for an extra kick of flavor (honey orange fans out there?) check the notes of the recipe. I left a secret there for you.
This is one of those recipes that you just kinda keep up your sleeve at all times. So hold tight and don’t let go. Pork in the crockpot is the way to go.
PS. I used my regular slow cooker for this recipe which is a Crock-Pot that I’ve had for the last five years. SO MUCH FOOD has come out of that thing over the life of this blog which is pretty impressive for a $28 kitchen appliance.
- 3 lbs. pork shoulder
- 1 cup soda (I used Sprite)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup Marzetti Simply Dressed Balsamic dressing
- Place the pork, soda, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- When the meat falls apart easily, shred it directly in the crockpot with two forks. Add the balsamic dressing and stir with the liquid in the crockpot. The meat should be saucy and moist.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (or use the broil setting if you have that) and transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread it in an even, thin layer and cook in the preheated oven until the juices are bubbling and the edges are crispy, 10-15 minutes (less time if you have a broil setting).
- Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy on sandwiches, with a baked potato, or however else you want to enjoy it.
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