I’ve been craving pulled pork for weeks and finally got around to making it. Honestly, what’s better? It’s one of my favorite foods, hands down. I love it in chili, by itself, on sandwiches, with BBQ sauce, without BBQ sauce, on grilled cheese, in breakfast hashes, you name it. This version is made in the slow cooker (yay!) and requires basically no cooking except for simmering the BBQ sauce for ten minutes.
I love the combination of apple and pork, so I cooked the pork shoulder in apple cider and a little apple cider vinegar. I wanted to take the fall theme even further, so I made a pomegranate BOURBON barbecue sauce. It’s pretty wonderful.
These sliders are perfect for entertaining this fall. You can make the pork ahead of time, or have it in the slow cooker all day, so it’s ready when your guests arrive.
You can also make them into full sized sandwiches of course, I just love how cute the sliders are!
Making your own barbecue sauce has to be one of the easiest things to do and it’s SO much better than store-bought, in my opinion. Store-bought sauces are usually loaded with sugar and weird ingredients. This way, you know exactly what is going into your sauce, and it’s so much fresher and more flavorful! You’re going to love this one.
The sweetness of the pomegranate mixed with the smokiness and bourbon flavor is soooo good. It would be great with pulled chicken too!
Don’t let the long ingredient list for the barbecue sauce scare you. It contains ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and pantry, with the exception of one ingredient. Pomegranate molasses. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s typically used in Middle Eastern cooking, and it is basically just pomegranate juice reduced into a thick, sweet syrup. Look for it in the international aisle of your grocery store. It’s perfect for sweetening sauces, baked goods, marinades, and dressings. I LOVE it in this barbecue sauce.
Apple Cider Pulled Pork Sliders with Pomegranate Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- For the PULLED PORK:
- 1 3-4 lb. pork shoulder
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- slider buns for serving
- apple slices for serving
- pomegranate seeds for serving
- For the POMEGRANATE BOURBON BBQ SAUCE:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat a large skillet to medium high heat. Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides until golden, a few minutes on each side.
- Place pork in slow cooker and add apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8-10.
- While pork is cooking, make the barbecue sauce. In a medium saucepan combine ketchup, bourbon, pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire, soy sauce, pomegranate molasses, dijon, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve the pork.
- Once pork is finished, remove from crockpot and shred with two forks. I like to add a few spoonfuls of the cooking juices back to the pork for extra moisture.
- Add as much barbecue sauce as you like and toss to combine. Serve on slider buns and top with sliced apples, pomegranate seeds, and extra barbecue sauce if desired.
barbecue sauce adapted from here.