You’re busy. I know, I am, too. Some days I don’t think I even have enough time to eat, let alone cook. Those are the days when I reach for my slow cooker. And when those days of running around and doing a million things seem to last all week? Well that’s when I pull out BBQ Pulled Pork (or chicken, if that’s your style).
Living in the South for the last few years [Editor's Note: Laura has been a Mississippi Delta Teach for America Corps Member], I’ve really come to appreciate the pulled pork sandwich (with coleslaw on top, of course!). Like all slow cooker recipes, this dish will cook itself while you’re busy at work and running errands around town. What’s best about this meal, however, is the leftovers. And no, I’m not talking about eating BBQ sandwiches for a week straight, because no matter how much you might enjoy them, that does not sound appetizing.
Take the time to throw these ingredients in the slow cooker one night and you can have three nights of meal, all within 20 minutes of getting home.
Meal #1: BBQ Pulled Pork (or Chicken) for sandwiches
1tsp vegetable oil
1 (4 lb) pork shoulder roast or 5-6 chicken breasts
1 C BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays…yummm!)
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C chicken broth
1/4 C light brown sugar
1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1Tbsp chili powder
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5-6 hours.
2. Remove the meat from the pot and shred the pork using 2 forks. Return the shredded pork to the pot, and stir the meat into the juices.
3. Serve heaping amounts of pulled pork onto buns—and if you want to be really authentic—top with coleslaw.
Meal #2: BBQ Nachos
1 bag tortilla chips
1 can black beans
1 cup cooked BBQ chicken or pork
1 cup salsa
1 cup BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s all the way…)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (technically optional, but when bacon is an option, I say say take it!)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional, but delicious)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread tortilla chips on a cookie sheet and top with all remaining ingredients besides cilantro and bacon.
2. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese has melted. Top with cilantro and bacon.
Meal #3: BBQ Pizza
1 pizza crust or prepared pizza dough
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (You may have noticed, I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s)
leftover BBQ chicken or pork
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
1. Preheat over according to crust directions or to 400 degrees F for homemade dough.
2. Place crust or prepared dough on a pizza pan and cover with remaining BBQ sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and top with leftover BBQ pork or chicken, onions, and roasted red peppers. Bake according to crust directions, or for homemade dough for 20-25 minutes, until crust begins to brown and cheese is bubbly.