The following is a recipe for pulled pork cooked in a crock pot. Having a food processor is also handy, but it is not necessary.
- 2-3 lb. piggy butt (pork shoulder)1
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil (optional)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 serrano peppers, or 1 habanero2
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of ground cumin3
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper your piggy butt or pork shoulder. I like a bone-in cut, which can take a little longer to cook, but it results in more flavor. If you want, wipe down your crock pot with olive oil, and place in the meat.
Put the onion, garlic, hot pepper(s), cumin, oregano, and vegetable oil in a microwavable bowl and microwave it for 5 minutes and stirring it occasionally. This will bloom the spices and soften the onions. Alternatively, you can do this step on the stove. I have found that the microwave works just as well and is a little easier4. I tend to only use the stove and a pan if I’m cooking other things in the same pan to let the flavors mingle.
As an extra step, I now take the heated onion mix and throw it in a food processor and chop everything up a bit more. I like the mix a bit lumpy, but not a puree. Once you’ve done this, rub the mix over the meat. Be careful, as the mix can be hot depending on how quickly you jump from the microwave to the food processor.
Cook the meat for 7 to 9 hours, shred with two forks, and dispose of the bone. Once the dish is cooked, you can try to remove the grease. Generally, I do not, since this keeps the meat moist and has flavor. I scoop the meat into microwavable containers and freeze it. When I heat it back up, I take the meat out with a fork and leave all the extra grease in the container.
This dish got its name from the soccer-ball-sized dog that lives up the street, and who looks like an anime super deformed version of Chewbacca (Chewie) with fused together leg joints (Chewie appears to lack knees). I have often fantasized that Chewie’s favorite dish is piggy butt, which he cooks for his other doggy friends. I further imagine Chewie talks like Mike Tyson and frequently makes his piggy butt too hot, because he adds 7 habaneros, or something insane like a ghost pepper. Chewie’s mouth then burns, and he has to drink all the water he can lap up (from the water bowl, the ditch, even mouthfuls of snow when it’s winter, etc.). Later, Chewie gets a second spicy “surprise” when the piggy butt comes out his other end – hence, Piggy Butt, Suprise!
Update: The photos show a pork shoulder of a forest raised pig I got at the local farmer’s market in Olympia. I’ve never heard of forest raised pig, but presumably this was a pig who lived and ate in the wood.
The pork shoulder is also known as the pork butt or “Boston butt.” The word butt does not refer to the animal’s rear end, but is Old English for “the widest part.” ↩
I usually do one habanero pepper. This results in a meat that is spicy, but never as spicy as I think it will be (so it tends to be just right). For the most recent recipe I tried two serranos, thinking that it will give the meat a slightly greener flavor. In terms of heat and flavor, if you like less heat, you might try seeding the peppers and modifying the dish to your palette. ↩
I tend to like more cumin; you may want to dial this back to one tablespoon to suit your tastes. ↩
I learned this trick from America’s Test Kitchen. ↩