Not your average pulled pork! A tasty rub and a hint of maple syrup in the gravy takes this slow cooker meal to another level.
There are so many recipes around for pulled pork it blows your mind. I tried to make this one a little different and with flavors I know blend together well.
One of my stores had Boston butts on sale for 99 cents per pound. I generally don’t buy this because the pieces are way too large for me. But I saw that they had smaller pieces like I’d buy for my husband and me years ago in a store that always sold smaller pieces for empty nesters and singles.
I decided to buy a piece but originally was going to oven roast it like a pork loin. Then I got the bright idea of dusting off my little-used Ninja and doing something slow cooked.
The Ninja was perfect for this because it allowed me to brown, then slow cook then use it as a stovetop and reduce the sauce, and all in one pan. You can do all this and use a regular slow cooker, but you’ll need a skillet to brown and another to reduce the sauce if you don’t want to wait using your slow cooker on high for the last part of the cooking.
When this cooks, it fills your house with great aromas. Your mouth will be watering for a couple of hours!
Maple is a flavor I love with pork and the little bit of maple syrup in the gravy gives just enough flavor. It’s not too sweet either, but there isn’t a lot in there to begin with.
I use a rub that I can get in a local supermarket, but I have developed one that closely approximates the one I buy in the store. The rub is packaged under the store’s “better” house-brand label, but I can’t imagine it’s the only place that has it packed for them. If you look in your store’s condiment section, if you see “maple & sage” seasoning/rub, that’s probably the same thing.
I brown all meat I slow cook because of the added flavor, but you can skip that step (and keep one pan clean), and if you don’t mind the liquid being a juice and not a proper gravy, then you can eliminate thickening it and possibly reducing the juice–although you will get awesome flavor if you do reduce it, so I recommend you don’t eliminate that step.
You can also use fresh potatoes–about 5-6 medium peeled and cut in half. Honestly, in dishes such as this, I prefer to use the canned whole potatoes because they hold up very well in long, slow cooking. I always find them handy to have in the pantry.
- 1 pork Boston butt (around 4-5 lbs)
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 2 tbs finely chopped onion
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 recipe Alternate Rub -OR- 2 tbs Taste of Inspiration Maple Sage Rub (available at Hannaford Supermarkets)
- ⅛ tsp (scant) thyme
- 2 cans (15 oz each) whole potatoes
- 1 tsp salt (see NOTES)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tbs oil for browning (see NOTE)
- Coat roast with rub. Brown roast on all sides in the 1 tbs oil.
- Place browned roast in slow cooker. Add mushrooms, onion, stock, potatoes and thyme.
- Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours, high 4-6 hours. Remove roast.
- Turn slow cooker to high, remove cover, add the maple syrup and let the accumulated juices reduce by ⅓—-maybe about 30 minutes time.
- Add the cream to the reduced liquid. May be thickened if you find the gravy too thin.
- Pull the pork roast apart with 2 forks and add back to the slow cooker to reheat.
- Serves 6-8
The oil can be eliminated if you don't brown the meat.
If you desire a thicker gravy than the reduced juices, it may be thickened with 2 tbs flour in ¼-1/2 cup water
Clicking on "Alternate Rub" in the ingredient list will bring you to the page with the recipe.