What better way to celebrate #NationalBeerDay than with this easy recipe for Beer Braised Slow Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork! Smothered in brown sugar barbeque sauce and chocolate stout, it’s delicious served over warm cheesy biscuits.
This is it – National Beer Day!
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today’s holiday commemorates the signing of the Cullen-Harrison Act, which legalized the sale of beer in April 1933 prior to the repeal of the Volstead Act (and the end of Prohibition in December later that year). It’s the anniversary of once again being able to (legally) drink one of the most popular beverage categories in America – beer.
Choosing Your Ingredients
I appreciate a good craft beer (and the work that goes into one), but I’m not much of a beer drinker myself. When I decided to create this Slow Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork recipe in celebration of today’s holiday, I needed some help. I turned to my friends and colleagues on Facebook for advice. After much discussion and many suggestions, I narrowed my choices down to three – a Coffee Porter, a Chocolate Stout, or (a little more left field) a Cherry Lambic. With help from the liquor store clerk, I ended up with a really delicious Chocolate Stout in my final trials. I am definitely fan.
Feel free to use your favorite dark beer in this recipe, but if you can get ahold of Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout, do yourself a favor and give it a try. It has smooth, complex flavors that make it really pleasing on the palette (even for a cocktail girl like me), and it works beautifully with the rest of the ingredients here.
Probably even more so than the beer, the type of barbeque sauce you use in a recipe like this can really change the flavor profile. For this Slow Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork recipe, I suggest using a sauce that is brown sugar forward in flavor with a tomato and apple cider vinegar base. I adapted this fantastic Homemade Barbeque Sauce from Half Baked Harvest to make the below, and I can’t recommend it more highly. I’m still working on perfecting my own signature blend, which I hope to share with you in the future. Your favorite store bought or homemade recipe would undoubtedly be delicious.
Beer Braised Slow Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork
Like the best slow cooker recipes, this Beer Braised Slow Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork is simple to make. You basically just thrown all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do its job. Searing the pork shoulder beforehand isn’t essential, but it adds a depth of flavor you won’t get otherwise.
The most hands-on part of this recipe is actually pulling apart the pork shoulder. By the time it’s finished, it should shred easily, but it still might take you a couple of minutes depending on the size. For jobs like this, you can use two forks, or use a tool like you can see pictured above. A set of “shredder claws” (I use the Original Bear Paw brand) make the work go quickly, and you can pretend to be Wolverine at the same time. Really it’s a win-win.
The finished pulled pork can be served in a variety of ways, but I’m recommending piling it on top of the Cheddar Rosemary Biscuits you see pictured here. The biscuits are sturdy enough to soak up the beer-infused sauce while keeping crisp on the outside. They shouldn’t get soggy like a softer baked good might, and that was an essential feature for me. Add a heaping sprinkle of shredded cheese, whatever extra condiments you like, and eat like an open-faced sandwich.
Hint: This is a great place to use these Candied Jalapeno Slices!
I hope you enjoy this comforting, crowd-pleasing recipe. If you celebrate National Beer Day, make sure to share your pints on social media, with the hashtag #nationalbeerday! Cheers!
Looking for another beer recipe? Check out this one for Sage & Brown Butter Mashed Potato Shepherd’s Pie with Guinness, Bacon, & Beef Filling!
Disclaimer: Please note that this post contains Amazon.com affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. I recommend products because I find them interesting or helpful, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Beer Braised Slow Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork with Chocolate Stout
- 1 3-4 lb pork shoulder (bone-in)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 bottle (12 oz) Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout (or other dark beer)
- 2 cups homemade or favorite store bought barbeque sauce (see note)
- Additional barbeque sauce, for serving
- 1 cup smoked gouda or cheddar cheese, shredded
- Candied jalapenos, pickles, coleslaw, or other sandwich toppings
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and sear the pork shoulder on all sides. All sides should have a nice gold sear. (If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step, but it does add nice flavor to the pork if you can manage it).
Mix the sugar and spices with the barbeque sauce in the pot of the slow cooker, and place the pork shoulder on top. Spoon the sauce over the pork, and then pour in the bottle of stout. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours.
Once done, remove the pork shoulder and shred it to little pieces (I love to use these Bear Paws!). Discard the bone and any gristle or fatty pieces that do not break apart. Add the shredded pork back to the juices of the slow cooker and heat on high for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove the coated meat to a serving dish with a slotted spoon, leaving the juices behind.
Serve the pork over split biscuits, with cheese, extra barbeque sauce, and other toppings if you desire. You will absolutely feel the comfort of this delicious meal.
Homemade Barbeque Sauce: I had no idea making your own barbeque sauce was so easy! For this recipe, I used a sauce based on this homemade barbeque sauce recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Feel free to use your favorite homemade or store bought sauce for this recipe.
Making Ahead: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork can be portioned out and frozen for future meals. Spoon two to four portions into individual freezer-safe quarter gallon Ziploc bags, label, and store flat in the freezer. Pulled pork will keep this way 2-3 months.