I know as a Scot I am probably one of the last people to claim any knowledge of barbecue sauce, and barbecue flavors in general. It’s not exactly a type of food we do (in fairness anything you would typically cook outside isn’t something you’d associate with Scotland as there are very few times you would get to try it). However I do like exploring different types of food and trying out my own versions and that’s what we have here with this slow cooker bbq pork. I can’t claim it’s the most authentic but it isn’t that far off and more importantly, it’s tasty. Oh, and it’s really easy which always helps.
Why use a slow cooker?
Cooking in the slow cooker has two major advantages – it doesn’t heat up the whole kitchen and it allows the meat to get nice and tender in the sauce. Plus you don’t have to watch over it at all as the meat cooks. Actually, it’s better not to as you really shouldn’t open the slow cooker while it’s cooking, to keep the moisture in, and in some ways it can be good to be away from the cooking smells as they will definitely make you hungry!
What cut of pork to use
Here I used bone-in country-style pork ribs as that’s what I had, but to be honest you could use a number of cuts and quantities (just probably not tenderloin as it is a little too lean). Just adjust the amount of sauce if you are using a larger piece of meat – you want to make sure you have a nice layer over the top as the pork cooks. The sauce will take on some juice as it cooks so don’t worry too much about what you will have for serving, but obviously if you have a big piece of meat, you’ll want a decent amount of sauce to make sure you get all that tasty flavor.
After you’ve left the slow cooker to do the hard work for a few hours, you can let the urge to open up and take a closer sniff get the better of you (it smells amazing as it’s cooking, it’s torture but in a good way!). The pork is meltingly tender – you can probably see how easily it falls apart as soon as you touch it with a fork.
This pork will go with pretty much any typical Southern sides – here I paired it with some collard greens and homemade biscuits, but take your pick from these or eg a simple coleslaw, creamed corn, beans, mashed potato or sweet potato. Biscuits (like these parsnip ones) are much easier to make than you might think, plus you can make them ahead and/or make extra when you make them and freeze them to use another time. You just cut the biscuits, place on baking sheets/trays, then transfer to a freezer bag once they are frozen. You can then bake them when you are ready – you can put them in the pre-heated oven from frozen with an extra couple minutes baking time than you would do when fresh.
I’m sharing this recipe as part of this week’s Weekday Supper. All the recipes are focussed on make-ahead ideas for when it can be hard to all eat together; you can see all the other ideas below. This slow cooker BBQ pork fits right in, as it will easily keep warm and re-heat as needed. If you have biscuits and collards as sides, they will also re-heat without an issue. Coleslaw is another great option for different meal times as it keeps well. Overall this is a delicious meal, that’s also perfect for busy mid-week nights.
- ½ cup/120ml tomato ketchup
- 2tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2tbsp brown sugar
- 1tbsp Worchestershire sauce
- 1tsp mustard (I used Dijon but as you prefer)
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeds removed if you prefer less heat, finely chopped
- 1tsp liquid smoke
- 1 small onion
- approz 1.5-2lb bone-in country-style pork ribs or other pork cut (see above)
- Put all of the ingredients apart from the pork and onion in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Peel and slice the onion and put it in the slow cooker with the pork on top, then pour over the sauce.
- Turn the slow cooker on low and leave to cook for around 6-8hours.
See all the Weekday Supper ideas being shared this week:
Monday – Freezer Friendly Chicken Taquitos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Tuesday – One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
Wednesday – Island Teriyaki Chicken Packets by Palatable Pastime
Thursday – Taco Bar by eating in instead
Friday – Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pork with Homemade Sauce by Caroline’s Cooking