Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Sweet-and-Smokey Barbecue Sauce

Adapted via AllRecipes and Cookstr
Serves: 8 to 10

For the Pork:
♦ 1 (4-pound) pork tenderloin
♦ 2 (12-oz) bottles root boor
♦ 1 medium onions, quartered
♦ 2 tsp garlic powder
♦ salt and pepper

For the Sauce:
♦ 6 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
♦ 1/2 cup cider vinegar
♦ 1/4 cup molasses
♦ 1/4 cup honey
♦ 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
♦ 2 tbsp dark rum or whiskey
♦ 2 tbsp yellow mustard
♦ 1 tbsp liquid smoke
♦ 1 tbsp pure chili powder
♦ 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
♦ 2 tsp garlic powder
♦ 1 tsp ground allspice
♦ 1/4 tsp ground cloves
♦ 4 cups (24 ounces) ketchup
♦ course salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make the sauce: combine all the ingredients (except for the ketchup) in a large, deep saucepan saucepan that’s both heavy and nonreactive. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until all the ingredients are dissolved, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and bring to a boil, stirring well (ketchup may spatter). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce the heat slightly and gently simmer the sauce, uncovered, until it is dark, thick, and richly flavored, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Use immediately, or transfer the sauce to clean jars, sealing each tightly; cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Make-ahead: sauce will keep, refrigerated, for several months.

Cook the pork: place the pork tenderloin into a slow cooker, and pour the root beer over the meat; add the quartered onions and spices. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily,  7 to 8 hours (I cooked mine for nearly 9 – the time will vary based on your slow cooker); drain well. Stir in the barbecue sauce, and continue to cook until the mixture is heated, anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Serve with potato rolls (or hamburger buns) and plenty of napkins.

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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