Another family and friend favorite is my barbecue pulled pork. The barbecue sauce is homemade, based on whatever I want to get rid of from my refrigerator and cabinets. This might be that hot mustard someone brought for a party, or raspberry chipotle jam that came in a gift basket. I’ve made successful sauces from all of them. This time around it was a jar of Triple Fruit Natural Fruit spread that seemed like a good place to start.
Barbecue sauce tends to come in a wide variety of flavors, but at its core it is a tomato, vinegar, base with some heat and sweetness (at least it is for my family). My Poppa John swears by the cheap tomato sauces (i.e. Ragu, Prego) as they seem to have more natural ingredients and less sugar than the others. I tend to use whatever exists in the house (unless the pickings are slim and I have to buy something).
1 jar triple fruit natural fruit spread (7.5 ounces)
1 onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup Classico tomato sauce (had it in the fridge)
2 cups Ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
1 – 2 tablespoons steak spice rub (this was the remaining amount of something I had in the cabinet and wanted to use up. I would normally use Adobe, Pepper, Chili Powder, Paprika, Cayenne, etc)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
Notes: I used white vinegar because I needed to cut through the sweetness of the fruit spread. I normally would use balsamic vinegar as that would add sweetness and tartness to the sauce. I would also normally add brown sugar, but given the fruit spread, I chose to leave that out.
1. Add all ingredients to small sauce pot
2. Simmer sauce for about 10 – 20 minutes until heated through, stirring frequently
Note: This is the jist of the sauce, however it is imperative to taste the sauce at this point. You want a nice balance of sweetness, tartness and heat. If it’s too sweet add more worcestershire and vinegar, if it’s too mild, add more cayenne pepper (you could also add a piece of scotch bonnet or other chili pepper to the sauce while simmering to increase the heat), and if it’s too spicy or tart, add more tomato (whether it be ketchup, tomato sauce, etc) or sugar.
You also need to have a sense of what you are doing with the sauce and determine whether you have made enough. I start by coming up with the flavor I want and then can add to the recipe in small increments, to retain flavor but ultimately making the amount I need.
In this particular case, I was using my barbecue sauce for my crockpot pulled pork.
1 4-5 pounds pork cut in big chunks (it can be any cut you want)
Enough barbecue sauce to cover meat in crockpot
1. I bought a 7.28 pork shoulder, butchered off the meat (until I had enough to feed the family plus some and ultimately got bored of butchering).
2. Cut the meat into chunks and put the meat and the sauce in the crockpot.
3. Set the crockpot to 6 hours and let it cook.
4. At about the 5 hour mark, I will check the meat for doneness and start shredding the meat with a fork and spoon. If it is not easily shredding, I let it cook uninterrupted for another hour. However if it does shred nicely, I shred it, and set the crockpot to warm until I’m ready to serve it.
I usually serve it on a whole wheat roll with coleslaw or broccoli slaw.