Slow-roasted Pulled Pork
Savory-sweet pulled pork is a favorite among my event attendees, whether served on soft rolls as sandwiches, or tucked into tacos with onions, peppers, and cheese. The secret to the best pulled pork is to roast it over low heat for many hours, allowing the fat to melt down, the muscle proteins to break down and start to fall apart, and for all of the spices and seasonings to infuse all the way through the meat.
If you have a large crock-pot or countertop roasting pan, those work best; many modern ovens have safety features that shut off the oven automatically after a few hours.
12 lb pork shoulder (bone-in for better flavor)
1 Cup Dr. Pepper (or other liquid)
1 Cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Rinse the pork roast, and trim off any fat thicker than 1/2 inch.
In a large roasting pan with a lid, place the pork roast. Combine the sugar, salt, and spices with the Dr. Pepper (or other liquid) and pour it all over the top of the roast. Place the cover on the pan and put it into the oven to cook for 12 hours (this works best if you do it overnight).
After 12 hours, uncover the roast and use tongs to carefully remove the meat form the pan - it should be falling apart into strips. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, and return the meat to the roasting pan, cover, and return to the oven (set to 170 degrees) to keep warm.
Heat the strained liquid on high until it is boiling - reduce the heat to medium-high to keep it lightly boiling, and reduce it to 1/4 its volume,stirring frequently, until it is thickened.
Remove the pork from the oven, and toss it with the reduced liquid before serving.