Happy New Year my sweet friends!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season filled with friends and family, traditions kept and new memories made. I know I did! This year was all about our boys, and taking a little break from blogging was a nice way to decompress and keep my mind focused on the true meaning of the season. But now that it is all over I am SO excited to get back into it all! I know I missed you- and I sure hope you missed me!
Being it is January and the New Year is upon us, I thought it fitting to share a recipe for pork that we have been going wild over lately! It is supposed to be good luck to eat pork on New Years day, but I think all of January is good enough too ((wink, wink)). Right now you can also usually find the pork shoulder (also labeled pork butt) marked down after the big holiday making it the perfect time to stock up. Our grocery store had them buy one get one free! I LOVE when that happens! Being an already budget-friendly cut of meat, this is a huge savings.
This recipe takes Hot Pepper Jelly, which is a bit sweet but also packs a nice bite from the hot peppers, some brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and a good squeeze of Dijon mustard making a sauce which tenderizes and flavors the meat so, so, so amazing. We are seriously addicted to this recipe and I know you will be too!
**I've been asked on my facebook page if this is a spicy dish. It actually isn't hot at all. You get all the flavor of the hot peppers, but none of the heat. You may get a zip here and there depending on the heat of the jelly you use. But I wouldn't call it hot. Both of my boys can eat it and love it. **
Hot Pepper Jelly Pork Shoulder in the Crock Pot
1 (3-5lb) pork shoulder (also labeled as the butt)
1 large onion, chopped
1 Cup hot pepper jelly
1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Spray inside of crock pot with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chopped onion in the bottom of the crock pot. Rinse the pork shoulder, pat dry and put into the crock pot on top of the onions. Season WELL with salt and pepper- don't be afraid of the salt and pepper folks! Whisk the jelly, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and Dijon mustard together and pour over pork. Do not be tempted to add any water or liquid to the crock pot. It isn't necessary because the jelly melts down and the pork creates its own juice while cooking.
Cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10. Around the last hour or so of cooking time, you want to check your meat by taking the lid of the crock pot off and giving the pork a pull with a fork. It should be fall-apart tender. If it isn't, let it cook until it is! It is well worth the wait. When it is at fall-apart stage you can carefully remove it from the crock pot, and using two forks, pull the meat apart and then add it back to the pot for an additional 30 minutes to absorb more of the juices. Lately I have been just pulling it gently apart into chunks while inside the pot instead of shredding it outside so we can have larger pieces. But both are fine- do to your preference!
Serve alongside rice, or mashed potatoes with lots of juice on the side to pour on top. You can also stuff into buns or mini rolls for sliders- kids love this! And the left overs we always use in soft taco shells for carnitas. With so many options, this is sure to be a hit in your home!