Crockpot Pig Roast with Insane Barbecue Sauce

Friday night was Southern barbecue night here in my little corner of New Jersey. I don’t know why I had the hankerin’ for some smokey, sticky, utterly satisfying barbecue, but I did and it had to be sated. So, I started the 5 pound pork shoulder in the slow cooker at around 9am. By 5 o’clock, we had glorious pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw with my new addiction, homemade mayo. As usual, the end result was a culmination of a few different recipes.

The insane barbecue sauce is from The Barefoot Contessa. I read all of the reviews on, and then made some tweaks to the sauce based on the user comments. First, I doubled the recipe because there was a common complaint that it didn’t make enough. Doubling makes just the right amount for a 5 lb. shoulder with extra for dolloping on top. The recipe below has already been doubled. The only ingredients I didn’t double were the tomato paste and chili powder. I read several comments that these ingredients over powered the sauce. So, what you get in the end is a sauce with a very complex bite. It’s sweet with a vinegar tang and a lingering heat that is just right. We all sat around the table thinking about what other ways we could use it; on ribs of course, chicken, any kind of pork really. I have a feeling I will be making this sauce on a weekly basis during the summer.

I rubbed the meat on all sides with pork rub.(I use Pork Barrel BBQ All American Seasoning & Rub) You can certainly whip up your own flavorful rub based on the spices in your cabinet. 

Next, I sliced up two onions. Place one onion on the bottom of your slow cooker, place the pork on top of onions and spread the second batch of onion on top of the meat. Fill the slow cooker with water until it is approximately 2/3 up. I added one cap full of Liquid Smoke to the water. Next time I think I’ll add more. There wasn’t enough smokey flavor for me. Slow cook on Low for 8 hours. Take pork out and let cool until it is easy to handle. Shred with fingers or two forks. Throw out onions and water. Place pork back in your slow cooker and stir in desired amount of sauce. Pour the rest of sauce in bowl for individual dollops. Chop last onion and brown in a couple tablespoons of butter. Add to pork and mix well.

Pulled Pork Recipe


5 lb. pork roast
3 onions (2 sliced, 1 chopped reserve)
2 cap fulls of liquid smoke
Healthy sprinkle of Pork Rub on all sides

Barbecue Sauce


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large red onion, diced (2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. lime zest
2 Tbs. grated ginger
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup honey
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh orange juice

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat and saute the onions and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the chili powder, ground cumin and red pepper flakes and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the zest and ginger and cook for an additional minute. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, mustard, soy sauce and orange juice and simmer uncovered on low heat for 15 minutes, until thick.

Creamy Coleslaw


3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp celery salt
1 dash black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 large bag of shredded cabbage or 1 large head, shredded

Be sure to toss your cabbage with dressing and refrigerate for a few hours to soften the cabbage.

Serves 8.