Host Rachael Ray's easy pulled pork, as seen on Food Network.
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Pleasingly Easy Pulled Pork

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr (includes resting time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Pulled pork, in its simplest and fastest of slow-cooked methods, begins with boneless pork shoulder. The top of a pork shoulder is referred to as a "butt" or "Boston butt" BUT it is shoulder meat nonetheless. It was shipped in barrels at one time, and it was buttressed up the sides of the barrels, as the fable goes. The higher the cut the fattier the meat; if you want to remove fat from pulled pork, make it a day ahead to cool it and skim.


Barbecue Sauce:


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F, rack 1 rung below center.
  2. Bring pork to room temperature, about 30 minutes, and pat dry.
  3. Combine paprika, salt, garlic, onion, oregano or marjoram and pepper in a bowl, then coat meat evenly, rubbing mixture into meat.
  4. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with oil, 3 turns of the pan. When oil ripples and smokes, add the meat and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Add beer, wine or cider and reduce a minute or so, then add stock. Cover and place in oven. Cook 3 hours until very tender, then shred meat with tines of 2 forks, removing larger pieces of fat or connective tissue as you work. Stir meat and drippings together with Barbecue Sauce, if using.

Barbecue Sauce:

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepot or skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions, chile, garlic, salt and pepper, then soften 5 to 6 minutes. Add vinegar and reduce 1 to 2 minutes, then add ketchup or sauce, Worcestershire, brown sugar and hot sauce. Simmer over low heat for flavors to combine. Add to pork and drippings and combine.

Cook’s Note

Here are three ways to serve pulled pork. Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Pleasingly Easy Pulled Pork Soft rolls, such as Martin's Potato Rolls, Big Marty's or brioche rolls Sliced bread and butter pickles Chopped white onion Pickled sliced jalapeno peppers Barbecue Sauce Pile pulled pork on rolls and top with pickles, onion, peppers and Barbecue Sauce. Pulled Pork Tacos: Pleasingly Easy Pulled Pork Charred corn tortillas Shredded savoy, white or red cabbage Sliced or matchsticks of radishes Salsa Verde, homemade or store-bought Crumbled queso fresco or Cotija Pickled jalapeno peppers Lime wedges Pile pulled pork on tortillas and top with cabbage, radishes, Salsa Verde, queso or Cotija and pickled jalapenos. Serve with lime wedges. Pulled Pork Ragu: One 28-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar Pleasingly Easy Pulled Pork Polenta or pasta, for serving Grated pecorino, for serving Add tomatoes and vinegar to pork and drippings. Serve pork ragu over polenta or combined with sturdy cuts of pasta and topped with grated pecorino (sheep's milk) cheese.