Pluots, a hybrid of plum and apricot, are the secret ingredient in this sweet and sour slow cooker variation on summer bbq. The shredded pork comes out super juicy and tender and the pluots melt into the lime juice to form a thin jus (which could be reduced or thickened with a slurry if you like).
Unlike roasting or sautéing, where ingredients need to be skillfully cut into like-sized pieces in order to cook uniformly, the long cooking time of slow cookers is very forgiving of those without precise knife skills making this is a great recipe for novice cooks. The only part of the prep work that might be difficult for some folks is the pitting of the pluots. But becuase the internet is a wonderful and magical place here's a great tutorial on how to pit stone fruits. Also, slow cookers are kinda like magic which means this is a great recipe for people short on time. And that's basically all of us, right?
Serve this for dinner over rice with some of the jus and a veggie side dish. Serve this for lunch as a sandwich with some crisp greens or vinegary slaw. Or just eat it plain because it's that damn good.
Prep time on this dish is about 15 to 25 minutes (depending on how fast you chop).
Cook time is 6-8 hours on low.
Sweet Summer Shredded Pork
8-second squeeze of honey
1 Tbsp kosher salt
12 twists of fresh black pepper
1 large lime, juiced (reserve the pith and peel)
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 cup of water
½ medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
a small bunch of mint, chopped
2 pluots, pitted, chopped
2.5-ish pounds of pork loin (or pork shoulder if you prefer)
In a small mixing bowl add the honey, salt, pepper, lime juice, cider vinegar, and water and whisk until the honey is dissolved.
Add the squeezed limes, onion, garlic, mint, and pluots and stir everything around so it's well mixed.
Arrange your pork in the slow cooker and slowly pour the braising liquid into the bowl. I'm always careful to coat the pork with the liquid as I do this. I doubt this really makes a difference but it makes me feel fancy like I'm in a cooking show or something.
Turn your slow cooker to low, place the cover on top, and walk away. Even though it's gonna start to smell really, really good and you'll probably want to get a bigger whiff of the delicious smell don't bother the lid for at least 6 hours.
When the cooking time is over: turn off your slow cooker and remove the bowl from the heating element so it will begin to cool. (At this point feel free to lift the lid and inhale deeply. Don't drool in the bowl tho. That's gross.) I usually let the pork cool for about 15 minutes then use two forks to shred the meat. It will basically fall apart with minimal effort courtesy of the slow cooker's wizardry.