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September 25, 2012

Pulled Pork For A Crowd

by Anne Paddock
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Processed and packaged foods are not often on my grocery list but every once in a while, I find a product worth buying and writing about. Williams-Sonoma, the kitchen supply/cooking/baking store sells a product under their label called Pulled Pork Starter that makes a saucy, slightly sweet and smokey southern style pulled pork that is always a hit with a big crowd – especially men (what is it about a pulled pork sandwich?).

A 26-ounce jar, Pulled Pork Starter’s ingredients include apple cider vinegar, water, brown sugar, spicy brown mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, natural hickory smoked flavor, organic black strap molasses, chicken demi-glace, chicken broth, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, crushed red pepper, and cayenne powder.  

The first time I used the sauce, I followed the directions (well, almost) on the jar for the slow cooker using a 4 pound pork shoulder bone-in roast. After browning the sides of the meat, the pork shoulder and the sauce were placed into the slow cooker and set on low. Eight hours later the pork just fell off the bone. I scooped the fat off and served the meat on a big platter from which everyone (12 people) could pile the meat on potato rolls with homemade cole slaw.  

The second time I used the sauce, I needed to feed a big crowd (20 people) so I used two 3.5 pound pork shoulder bone-in roasts with one jar of the sauce and the meat turned out even better – less saucy. But, to hold two pork roasts, a 6-quart slow cooker (Hamilton Beach makes a great one for about $49 available through www.amazon.com) is needed. I also tried making the pulled pork in the oven using one jar of the starter and a 4 pound pork shoulder bone-in roast in a covered casserole pan. With the oven temperature set at 325 degrees, the pulled pork was ready 4 hours later and was just as tasty so the method of cooking primarily depends upon how many people need to be feed and how much time you have to cook the pork. Whatever method chosen, rest assured the pulled pork will be a crowd pleaser. I’ve never had leftovers.

Pulled Pork (for 20 people)
1 26-ounce jar of Williams Sonoma Pulled Pork Starter
2 – 3.5 pound pork shoulder bone-in roasts

  • Salt and pepper the pork roasts and brown the outside of the meat in a large skillet that has a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom.
  • Place the 2 pork roasts next to each other in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Pour the Pulled Pork Starter over the roasts.
  • Cover and set the slow cooker on “low” for 8 hours.
  • After 8 hours, carefully remove the top and scoop the fat gently as the pork will start to fall apart. Take a large fork and gently shred the pork into the sauce. Remove the bones. Scoop the pulled pork and sauce into a large serving platter.
  • Serve with potato rolls (7 pounds of pulled pork will fill approximately 50 small potato rolls or 25 regular sized potato rolls), cole slaw, and french fries or fresh corn.

The Pulled Pork Starter is available from Williams Sonoma for $14.95 for the 26-ounce jar.

Williams Sonoma
www.williams-sonoma.com

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