This easy slow cooker healthy BBQ pulled pork recipe is made with your own seasonings. You get to forgo the additives, artificial flavours and colours in premade BBQ mixes and bottled sauces. I've used pork shoulder as it's a moist cut and helps create a rich, hearty flavour but this recipe can also be used with beef or boneless lamb. I love my Sweet Potato & Cassava Flour Wraps (recipe HERE) with the pulled pork. The wraps are very flexible and can be filled quite full without any worry of them falling apart. Pulled pork goes well with coleslaw and cauliflower & parsnip mash or my Irish Mash (recipe HERE).
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Remove any string that may be wrapped around the pork and use a sharp knife to carefully slice off the layer of fat on top. Set the meat aside at room temperature and discard the fat or use to make pork crackle. Turn on your slow cooker to start warming while you prepare the cooking sauce.
Add all the BBQ cooking sauce ingredients to the bowl of your slow cooker and mix well to combine (it can also be made the night before and left in the fridge to save time but add a little extra cooking time as the sauce is chilled).
Place your piece of pork into the sauce and roll it around to coat well. Place the lid on and leave to cook for 6 hours on high or 9 hours on low. Check the meat is cooked and falling apart by poking with a fork (should be soft and pulls away easily). Quite a lot of juice will come from the meat and the sauce will have increased.
Once the pork is soft and ready, use 2 forks to pull the meat apart while still in the slow cooker. Mix the shredded pork through the sauce and place the lid back on. Keep on low while you prepare your other dishes.
Serve the pulled pork in gluten/grain-free wraps or buns with coleslaw (use a slotted spoon to drain off excess sauce if using wraps). Delicious served over your favourite mash.
Pork is popular throughout Asia, India, and the Pacific. Purchase organic pork if available or grass-fed. Pork is an excellent source of protein and very high in thiamin (vitamin B).
In my recipes when listing onion I am referring to a brown (also called yellow) onion. Onions are members of the allium plant family which also includes garlic, leeks, spring onions and shallots. Onions are valued more for the flavour they impart in cooking than for their nutritional content. Onions are know for their antibacterial effect helping to prevent superficial infections and their sulfur compounds may block carcinogens.
Home made beef broth is excellent for healing Leaky Gut and to drink when unwell. Traditionally broth was made just from meat bones and simmered for hours to remove the gelatin, marrow and goodness from them. These days vegetables are also added to give extra flavour. If purchasing store bought broth/stocks, read your labels as many companies have changed the name of MSG to yeast extract. Organic or free range brands are available. I keep one on hand for emergencies. I get the butcher to cut my beef bones up so it's easy for the marrow and nutrients to be released easily. I prefer to making my broth in a slow cooker. I keep ice block trays filled with broth in the freezer ready for when just a small amount is required in a recipe.
Tomato paste is a thick paste that is made by cooking tomatoes for several hours to reduce moisture, straining them to remove the seeds and skin, and cooking them again to reduce them to a thick, rich concentrate. Purchase an organic brand with no sugar or additives - 100% tomatoes, and it's best to choose a brand in glass.
An excellent soy free alternative to soy sauce and tamari. It comes from the sap of the coconut tree and has a sweeter flavour than soy sauce and is not as salty. Coconut aminos can be purchased from health food stores or online. This is one of my favourite ingredients.
Apple Cider Vinegar is used extensively throughout my recipes due to its health benefits. When purchasing, look for raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar ‘with the mother’ it has a cloudy appearance. Avoid malt vinegars as they are made from barley and contain gluten.
Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of the mustard plant. The whole mustard seeds are mixed with water, vinegar or lemon juice, salt and flavoured with spices. Perfect to add flavour to dressings, sauces, soups, marinades and meat dishes.
Blackstrap organic molasses is a nourishing sweetener which contains a considerable amount of nutrients that are essential for the body. Molasses contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, iron, phosphorous, chromium and cobalt. It also has various vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B6, thiamine and riboflavin. Choose an organic unsulphured brand when purchasing.
The lemon is a citrus fruit which makes it high in vitamin C. Lemons have a distinctive sour taste which makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods. The pulp and rind (zest) are also used in cooking and baking.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Paprika is a relative of the chili pepper. Smoked paprika is used to add a sweet mildly spicy flavour to dishes and it adds a warm natural colour. Use organic smoked paprika, my favourite brands are Simply Organic or Frontier (I purchase online at iherb).
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
Coriander is also know as cilantro. The fresh chopped green leaves in large amounts are a good source of vitamin C. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian, Thai, and Mexican dishes. They are usually tossed through just before serving as the heat can diminish the flavour. The dried fruits are known as coriander seeds, the seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. The word coriander in food preparation may only be referring to the ground seeds not the plant.
Cumin is a medium - hot spice which blends well in curries and is the main spice in the Middle Eastern dip, hummus. It is being studied for potential anti-oxidant and anticancer effects.
Garam masala is an Indian blend of ground and toasted spices. Garam means "hot" and masala is "a mixture of spices". It can be used on its own or mixed with other seasonings. There is no single garam masala recipe, rather the ingredients change according to the region and cook. In Northern India, it will be aromatic and mild, while in the south of Indian the spice mix is hotter (it may include cayenne). Typical ingredients are cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black peppercorns, coriander and nutmeg. I purchase 'Simply Organic' or Frontier Co-Op organic brands, both don't contain any fillers.
Allspice is a dried fruit and gets its name from its flavour, which seems to be a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The fruit is picked when green and ripped in the sun, when dried they are brown and look similar to a peppercorn, it is then ground for use in cooking.