We were in Memphis this past weekend (it's one of our hometowns) and, as is our custom in Memphis, ate more than one plate of barbecue. This one's from the Germantown Commissary.
While we can't get the same smoky flavor of pork that has been cooked over wood for hours and hours in our own kitchen, we can get tender, fall-apart chunks of meat that come close enough to soothe homesickness...It's all about the Crock Pot.
Pork shoulder is one of our favorite things to throw in a slow cooker. We rub ours with brown sugar, paprika, some dry rub from the Rendezvous, and salt and pepper and pour in a little beer, apple cider vinegar, or just tomato juice. When the meat is finished cooking, we shred it, discarding any large pieces of fat, and pile it on rolls with barbecue sauce.
If barbecue isn't your thing, season it with garlic and ginger and make a peanut sauce to serve with it. Make it into Asian sandwiches topped with kohlrabi slaw.
We know you slow cooker lovers out there have probably made a variation of this dish many times. But when we occasionally get tired of the fact that our Crock Pot turns everything into soft shreds, it's nice to remind ourselves of how wonderful that fact is when it comes to barbecue, a food we can't live without.
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(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)