Tuesday, June 22, 2010

slow cooker barbecued pulled pork with homemade onion rolls

Pulled pork is one of those great set it and forget type slow cooker recipes.  The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.  Our middle daughter, Talia, was born with severe food allergies.  I quickly got into the habit of compulsively reading food labels and carefully reviewing ingredients.  Everyone loves barbecue sauce in our house but finding a brand that was safe for Talia and did not contain yucky ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, was extremely difficult.  I now make my own barbecue sauce and have included the recipe below.  It tastes just like the Sweet Baby Rays brand, which I use if I am pressed for time.

Because the pork recipe is so low maintenance, I love to use my bread machine to make the dough for these onion rolls.  When the dough is done, knead it a couple of times on the counter,  let the rolls sit for a little bit and bake them.  This is a great dish to serve on a summer weekend when hosting a little backyard BBQ.  There is so little work involved you can actually visit with your guests and not be hanging out in the kitchen or sweating in front of the grill.  Serve with some salads and you're good to go!

Pulled Pork
3 pounds boneless pork ribs* (Ribs taste great but are a little fatty.  I often buy a lean 3 lb boneless pork roast  instead. Cut it in half and place in slow cooker.)
1 carton Natures Promise Beef Broth
4 1/2 cups of homemade BBQ sauce (recipe below) OR an 18 oz bottle of barbecue sauce (We like Sweet Baby Ray's)
Foil Pan (or any 9 X 13 dish)


  1. Place pork in slow cooker.  Pour beef broth over it.
  2. Cook on low 8 hours.  
  3. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred.  Pour desired amount of bbq sauce on the shredded pork, stirring to combine.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce (a sweet BBQ sauce)
The ingredient list is long but most are kitchen staples!  


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Sauce can also be thinned using a bit of water if necessary. 

Homemade Onion Rolls


  • 3/4 cup plus 5 T lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 t active dry yeast
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion


  1. Place the water, butter, salt, sugar, onion powder, 3 tablespoons of dried onion, oats, flour and yeast into the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and press Start.
  2. When the cycle has completed, remove the dough from the machine, and knead on a lightly floured surface for about a minute. Cut into 8 equal pieces, and form into balls. Place on a baking sheet, and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise about 40 minutes (they will double in size).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Whisk together the egg white and water in a cup. Brush over the tops of the risen rolls, and sprinkle with remaining minced onion.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Cool completely, then slice in half horizontally before using.

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