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Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

March 30, 2011

OH. MY. GOODNESS.  You have got to try this pulled pork recipe I found on The Pioneer Woman.  Definitely a winner!  I know it sounds kinda weird to cook a pork shoulder in Dr. Pepper, but trust me, you won’t be sorry!  You can’t really even taste a Dr. Pepper flavor.  It just brightens the whole experience and adds a little sweetness to contrast the spiciness of the chipotle peppers.  The Pioneer Woman cooked this in the oven, but I used a slow cooker and it turned out great.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole pork shoulder (“pork butt”) – 5 to 7 lbs (however, I only used about 1/4 of the meat since I was only feeding 2 people)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can (11 oz) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (can be found on the Mexican food aisle)
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Start by peeling and quartering a large onion and scatter around the bottom of the slow cooker (or pot if you’re cooking it in the oven).

Here’s what the label will most likely say.  Don’t worry.  It’s not really a pork “butt”.  It’s the shoulder. 🙂  Still figuring out why they call it a butt.

The whole shoulder would have probably fed about 10 people so I cut about a quarter of it and put the rest in the freezer to use later.  Liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place on top of the onion.

Pour the whole can of chipotle peppers onto the meat (sauce too).

Now, I know this might be going against your nature, and may seem weird, but trust me!  It’ll be worth it!

Pour both cans of Dr. Pepper over the meat, peppers, and onion.  I used room temperature Dr. Pepper even though we had cold ones in the fridge.  I figured, it was going to need to get hot anyway, so I might as well help it along.

Next add the brown sugar.  Stir it around so that everything is nice and combined.

Cook for at least 6 hours on Low if using a slow cooker, and at 300° if cooking in the oven.  You’ll want to turn the meat over 2-3 times while cooking.

When the meat is ready it will be practically falling apart, so use caution when taking it out of the pot.

Shred meat with 2 forks, separating the big chunks of fat as you go.  The fat should be pretty easy to see since it will be slimy and soft, and the meat will be more firm.

Place the shredded meat back into the slow cooker and keep warm until ready to serve.  Discard the fat.

I served the pork with a side of mashed potatoes.  The juices from the slow cooker made a wonderful gravy!  Hope you love it as much as we did!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    March 30, 2011 7:59 pm

    This looks delicious! Reading your blog always makes me hungry!!! 🙂

  2. March 30, 2011 8:11 pm

    Good idea on using the slow cooker! 🙂 I am not a fan of pork, but I know most of my family is and I might just volunteer to make this dish at our next gathering.

    • March 30, 2011 8:20 pm

      I never ate pork before I moved to TN. But you may like this recipe. I know your family will! 🙂

  3. Pam Pentland permalink
    March 30, 2011 11:05 pm

    Steve must have LOVED the Dr. Pepper ingredient!! It does sounds yummy! I have made more pork since you moved away, but your dad doesn’t like pork tenderloin or pork chops. I am SURE he will like this, though. Thanks, honey! 🙂

    • March 31, 2011 10:42 am

      He did like the fact that it used his favorite beverage as an ingredient. 🙂 Although, surprisingly the pork didn’t really taste at all like Dr. Pepper. It just kinda added a sweetness to counteract the spiciness from the peppers. Yah, I’m sure Dad would LOVE this. It was definitely a winner!

  4. Mary Ho permalink
    March 31, 2011 12:28 pm

    Wow, this looks delicious, and easy enough for me to try! How spicy is it? I don’t mind slightly spicy, but if it’s hot enough that I have to keep drinking water, it might not be for me!

    • March 31, 2011 12:30 pm

      It was pretty spicy, but you can definitely adjust the spiciness by adding less chipotle peppers, or just omitting them altogether.

  5. Jennifer Worsham permalink
    April 1, 2011 8:40 am

    Well, Ms Joanna I tried this recipe last night. Well it was a huge success. very spicy though, I think I used to much peppers. But very good! I like reading your recipes. tonight I’m going to try your casserole dish. Thanks for all the great dinner ideas! keep them coming!

    • April 1, 2011 2:27 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! Try adding less chipotle peppers next time, or you could just skip the peppers and I’m sure it would taste good that way as well. Thanks for the comment!

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