Apple adds sweetness to this slow cooker bourbon pulled pork. This dish makes for great appetizer sliders or an easy main meal! Double (or triple) the recipe to serve a crowd!
Elegant enough for a Holiday party, but easy enough for Game Day, these sliders are sure to be a conversation starter.
What is Bourbon vs Whiskey?
All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.
Whiskey (or whisky, if you’re in Scotland) is distilled from the fermented grain mash of wheat, rye, barley or corn and aged in oak barrels.
Bourbon law dictates that bourbon needs to be produced in America and made from 51% corn. Corn is a ‘sweet’ grain, meaning the more corn, the sweeter the whiskey. It also needs to be stored in new, charred, white oak barrels, and it must not contain any added flavoring, coloring or additives.
Why so strict?
In the 1800’s distillers spent a lot of time tampering with their whiskies.
By the end of the century, people must have been fed up, because the standards were set, and now there are laws to keep bourbon consistent.
Our Slow Cooker Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork Recipe
So, we thought, why not slow cook pork in bourbon?
The slightly sweet, charcoal-y flavor from the charred barrel aging is perfect for pork. And, apple cider was a natural second. (You can’t go wrong with apples and pork.)
We’ve added just a bit of molasses and brown sugar to the sauce to bring out the sweetness of the bourbon, but not so much that its classic flavor is lost. If you like a sweeter pulled pork, this recipe is easy to adapt by adding a bit more brown sugar, to your taste, at the end.
Slow roasting the pork for at least 7 hours is key. Once the meat hits 200F, magical things start to happen and the meat will literally fall apart around your fork.
That is pulled pork beauty!
Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- 2 lb pork butt or shoulder roast (USDA Prime), trimmed of any large sections of fat
- ½ c bourbon
- ½ c pure apple cider
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 6 sourdough slider buns
- Mix garlic with salt and mustard.
- Make a few slits halfway through the pork roast. Pat the garlic mixture into the cuts. Place the roast in the bottom of your crock pot.
- Mix bourbon, cider, molasses and brown sugar. Heat slightly to dissolve the molasses and brown sugar in the liquid. Pour the bourbon mixture into the crock pot with the meat.
- Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Remove the pork from the crock pot and shred with two forks. (If you would like, you can skim the fat off of the top of the juice left in the crock pot. Discard the fat.)
- Return the pulled pork to the juices in the crock pot and cook on low for 1-2 hours, uncovered (to thicken the sauce and continue to flavor the meat). *
- Serve pork on a sourdough slider bun.
This is one of the recipes from the early days of Curious Cuisiniere. We’ve updated our pictures since we first made it, but we’ve left the original images here as a fun throwback and shout out to how far we’ve come. Enjoy!
This week the Sunday Supper crew is breaking out the libations! Check out the alcohol-infused recipes below.
- Boozy Iced Spanish Coffee by Nosh My Way
- Malibu Breeze by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Southern Pomegranate Sparkler by Noshing With The Nolands
Savory and Sweet Libational Dishes
- Belgian Beef Stew with Belgian Ale by Cooking On The Ranch
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs by Cooking Chat
- Amaretto Coconut Biscotti with Amaretto Salted Caramel Drizzle by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Tiramisu Biscotti by The Redhead Baker