Crockpot Pulled Pork + Beer Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
I’m so ready to ring in 2013.
I have champagne and glittery tights and in about eight hours, I’m going to have HUGE hair. Huge. No really. Huge. I have a $33 bottle of hairspray to prove it.
Oh and I have pork. Seriously… 2013, bring it on.
Could a better recipe more perfectly wrap up 2012 on this wee blog? I think not. If I was obsessed with anything this year (and let’s be honest, I’m obsessed with EVERYTHING… I know you’re hoping that my resolution is to stop using the word “obsessed.” For the third year in a row.), it was surely grilled cheese sandwiches. It started with the whole fruit and herb thing and then even morphed into… vegetables.
I must have had an off week.
So I don’t know why people eat pork on New Year’s – I hear it’s good luck or something like that? – but I eat pork all the time. Obviously. all.the.time. I wanted to do something slightly different than just a plain old sandwich or slider. Which is where the whole melty beer cheese thing comes in. And what’s better than buttery, crunchy, golden grainy bread? Nothing. That’s what.
The best thing about this “recipe” is that you can totally just use what you have. Use whatever pork you have leftover; whatever pork you hijacked from your parent’s house in order to not have to cook for the next four days. You can even use whatever cheese is in your fridge. The only other things you really need are bread and beer, and well… if you’re reading this I’m guessing you most likely are in possession of such necessities.
That’s why we’re friends.
- 1 (6 pound) pork butt/shoulder (mine was bone-in)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 12 ounces of beer
- 32 ounces of barbecue sauce + additional for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2/3 cup beer
- 1/3 cup milk
- 6 ounces freshly grated white cheddar cheese
- 8 slices slices whole grain bread
- softened butter for spreading
Optional but yields the best result: heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Sear the pork on every side (about 2-3 minutes per side) until golden brown before adding to the crockpot.
Add pork to crockpot with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 12 hours, tossing once or twice if desired. After 8 hours, shred pork with forks or kitchen tongs and add remaining barbecue sauce. Toss pork to coat and let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving to absorb everything. Remove bone (if bone-in) before serving.
This makes a ton of pork and can be made well ahead of time and also frozen afterwards!
To make the beer cheese sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and stir for 1-2 minutes until golden and fragrant and bubbly. Add in beer and milk, whisking well to combine, then reduce heat to low and add cheese, stirring until totally melted and smooth. Keep over low heat and stir every few minutes while assembling sandwiches.
Heat an electric skillet or griddle over medium heat. Butter the outside sides of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices butter-side down on the skillet, then top with a few handfuls of pulled pork. Cover in cheese sauce, then top with the other slices or bread, butter-side up. I cooked these grilled cheeses a lot quicker than the others I usually make since the cheese is already melted. As long as the pork and cheese sauce is warm, cook these until each side is deeply golden and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately!
Do it up big tonight, friends! I’m talking sweatpants… couches… the works.