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Pulled Pork Primavera

There is certainly no shortage of slow cooker pulled pork recipes. In fact, when we “Googled” it, we came up with a staggering two hundred thousand! To set our recipe apart from the crowd, we use classic ingredients—onion and barbecue sauce—but we also toss in carrot and bell pepper for added color and vitamins A and C. By using a lean cut of pork (tenderloin or loin), we keep the saturated fat to a reasonable 3½ grams per serving. The flavor and kid appeal are out of this world. When Liz’s boys first tried it, they said, “We could eat this meal every day for the rest of our lives.” How’s that for an endorsement? Serve with our easy Cranberry Coleslaw (see below).

Makes8 Servings

Cooking MethodSlow Cooking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, Game Day

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

EquipmentCrock Pot

MealDinner

Taste and TextureMeaty, Tangy

Type of DishSandwich

Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced into ½-inch wedges
  • 12-ounce jar barbecue sauce
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Add the pork, carrot, bell pepper, onion, and barbecue sauce to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, and stir to combine (you can also add half the barbecue sauce now and stir in the rest when the dish is done). Cover and cook on low until the pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours.

  2. When the meat is done, remove from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Use two forks to pull the meat into shredded pieces.

  3. Stir the meat back into the slow cooker until it is well combined with the sauce (the vegetables virtually disappear). Divide the pork mixture evenly between the hamburger buns and serve.

Cranberry Coleslaw

Coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to these rib-sticking sandwiches. To make our Cranberry Coleslaw, stir together 1/3 cup light mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl. Add one, 16-ounce package coleslaw and ½ cup dried cranberries and stir until well combined. Serve right away or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Mom’s Feedback

"I loved the ease of the preparation and the way the cranberry coleslaw complemented the pork. Overall, this combination is a winner!"
-Elizabeth, mother of Emma, age 11, Hannah, age 14 and Hayley, age 15. Reading, MA

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