I’ve always loved to cook, but that doesn’t mean I love cooking every meal, every day!
There are times when I don’t mind spending an afternoon on a more elaborate dish, like my low-carb zucchini lasagne, but most days I just want to get a meal on the table and spend my time actually eating it!
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is perfect for those days when you want to stay as far away from the kitchen as possible! (Or when work – or life – gets in the way of your intention to cook.)
I’m talking about Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.
It’s full of flavor, loaded with micronutrients (hello collagen/glycine, zinc, selenium, vitamin B6 and so much more), and takes maybe 5 minutes of prep work if you follow my slow cooker method.
This recipe has gone through many variations over the years, and what I’ve settled on takes the least amount of effort, but still tastes fantastic.
Given the ease—and the micronutrients it contains—slow cooker pulled pork is an excellent meal for pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
Of course, pulled pork often accompanies not-the-healthiest things (buns, barbeque sauce, etc,), so be sure to read below the recipe to learn my go-to healthy, but still yummy, side dishes to complete the meal.
I have to say, this is one of the few slow cooker pulled pork recipes that does not need barbeque sauce to taste good. I repeat, this recipe does not need barbeque sauce to taste good! (Please, taste test it first!)
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 1 4-6 lb pork butt or shoulder (ideally, from a pasture-raised pig)
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce/tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons mustard (yellow or dijon)
- Place onions in the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.
- Rub mixture over roast and place the roast in the crock-pot.
- In another bowl, combine your sweetener of choice, apple cider vinegar, tamari, and mustard. Pour over roast.
- Cover the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-10 hours (time will vary based on your slow cooker). Alternatively, cook in a covered oven-safe baking dish in the oven at 250-300 F.
- It’s done when the meat easily “pulls apart” with two forks.
To make this recipe in the Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker), combine ingredients as above, cover, seal the pressure vent, cook for 90 minutes on high pressure (press "manual," set at 90 minutes), allow natural pressure release.
NOTE: This recipe is also fantastic with grass-fed beef roast if you're not a fan of pork.
Leftovers (if there are any) freeze extremely well!
Healthier ways to serve pulled pork:
- As a lettuce wrap (with some zingy Asian beet slaw on top!)
- With a heaping pile of homemade coleslaw (my fave) + roasted sweet potato fries
- Alongside mashed cauliflower (or mix ½ cauliflower, ½ potatoes for the best of both worlds)
- With lemon roasted broccoli + roasted butternut squash with lime and chili
- Atop a large green salad. The richness of pulled pork pairs well with the spicy bite of arugula and a tart dressing (try one of my top 8 homemade salad dressings)
- With a side of greens, such as sauteed kale, collard greens, or spinach
- Mixed into a big bowl of zucchini noodles with tomato sauce or pesto (Many classic Italian pasta dishes use slow-cooked meats, so why not pulled pork?)
Now I’d love to hear from you.
- Have you tried making pulled pork? How’d it turn out?
- What’s your favorite side to serve with it?
Until next week,
PS – As I mentioned, this dish is excellent for postpartum recovery. High collagen foods are emphasized across almost all traditional cultures. In some parts of China, pig’s feet soup is one of the first meals brought to mamas. In Korea, it’s seaweed soup made in a base of beef bone broth. In parts of South and Central America, it’s slow cooked chicken soup. I could go on and on.
During postpartum healing, collagen is especially helpful for healing your connective tissue, your skin which has stretched (beyond the point of comprehension, might I add!), tears/surgical wounds, and supporting your uterus as it shrinks back to its prepregnancy size. (For a more science-y breakdown on this, see Ch 3 & 12 of Real Food for Pregnancy).
It’s nourishing, it tastes good, and it can be eaten with one hand (because inevitably, baby is hungry or needs to be held right when it’s meal time).