For my very first post on the blog, I smoked a pork shoulder on the grill. If you remember that post Here Piggy Piggy, and a few after that, I showed ways I used up all that smoked pork meat. I made a delicious Pulled Pork Stew With Green Chilies. I also used the meat in my Super Nachos. This pork loin is not the same as a pork shoulder and cooking it in the oven does not have the delicious smokey flavor like when I smoked the shoulder on the grill, but when it’s 10 degrees out and you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, throwing a pork loin in the oven and letting it do its thing is a pretty good meal. I’ve done them before in a crock pot too, so that works fine if that’s your preference. I just chose my good old trusty large cast iron pot to use as a Dutch oven because I was short on time and we had a little bit of crazy going on in our house at the time. Don’t have a dutch oven or large oven safe pot? That’s ok, just get one of those throw away large foil lasagna or roasting pans and cover it with foil while in the oven. Just be sure to have a cookie sheet or pan underneath it to help support it when transferring in/out of the oven.
Once again, I used this pork for multiple meals. I love pork loin because it’s a lean meat that is usually fairly inexpensive. I snagged a few large pork loins for $1.87/pound at a local butcher. I froze one for another meal, cut up and froze one for our dogs, and kept one to make this Dutch Oven Pulled Pork Loin. I try to get the most out of the meat and stretch that dollar as far as I can. It also makes your week a lot easier because most of the work is already done for you. I was at the butcher waiting my turn to pick up some more meat when my husband called in kind of panic. He was supposed to be home taking it easy, but went down to the basement for something and discovered water spraying everywhere in our laundry room. I left the butcher and my place in the forever long line there and drove home to find out what was going on. It was a tiny hole or crack in the solder joint on a copper pipe that was causing the water to spray everywhere. My husband had already shut the water off but there was a huge mess everywhere. Luckily it was just in the laundry room part of the basement which is not finished. He called around to a couple plumbers who said they may not be able to make it out to our house that day. I guess this is a common thing and no big deal to fix, but we needed it fixed ASAP. We couldn’t turn the water back on until this was fixed so my husband went to the hardware store to see about changing it all out to CPVC or what our options were. I had this pork loin that I had bought a few days prior and needed to either fix it or freeze it so I went ahead and started making dinner, even though I had no water. Thank goodness for jugs of bottled water! I managed to get it all prepped and in the oven using bottled water to wash my hands and utensils. When my husband returned home, he decided that since it was a tiny hole on the solder joint, it may be easier to just patch it. He patched it with some hardening putty stuff that did the trick. So far, no leak or spray and I got everything mopped up and put back into place. Ok, that little bit of crazy was over! Could have been much worse so I’m thankful it was fairly simple to fix and clean up! The house smelled delicious by the time we were ready for supper and this meal took very little effort!
Dutch Oven Pulled Pork Loin
one 3-5 pound boneless pork loin – excess fat and silver skin trimmed off.
2-3 TBS of BBQ rub. I used a store bought rub, but you could make your own too.
12 oz Dr Pepper Soda
4 TBS Butter
1 medium onion – sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Hamburger buns if serving as sandwiches
BBQ Sauce if serving as sandwiches
Trim excess fat and silver skin off of pork loin. Cut the loin into large chunks. Season all sides generously with rub.
Melt butter in a large oven safe pot and add in sliced onion. Saute on low heat for a few minutes.
Add in the chunks of pork loin and sear on medium – high heat for a minute or two on each side to achieve a nice crust.
Add in one can of Dr Pepper soda, cover the pot and transfer to 325 degree oven for 1 – 1 1/2 hours depending on size or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of about 190 degrees.
Remove from oven and set aside until ready to shred it. You may want to crack the lid so it cools a bit and does not continue to cook.
When ready, shred the pork using fork, knife, or whatever you like. I just use two forks. I do a couple chunks at a time and then return them to the big dutch oven pot.
Once all the meat is shredded, you can adjust the seasoning if needed. I added a little Salt and pepper and about 1/2 C of water and mixed up the meat so it was all combined and moist.
I do not pour any sauce on the pork. Instead, I like to dress each sandwich with pork and sauce. That way you can use the leftover pork in other recipes and it won’t be covered in BBQ sauce. Also, my family doesn’t all like the same type of BBQ sauce so we can each add our favorite sauce to our individual sandwiches.
A simple pulled pork sandwich hits the spot!
Need other ways to use up the pulled pork? I made a batch of Pulled Pork Stew with Green Chiles and made some BBQ pork wraps as well. They are basically the same as my BBQ Chicken Wraps, but I substituted the chicken with the pork. I still had about 1 1/2 C of pulled pork left, so I just tossed it in a freezer bag and into the freezer. I’ll make another batch of Pulled Pork Stew with Green Chilies another time since I can’t seem to get enough of that stuff. As I said before, you could also use the pulled pork in some awesome Super Nachos! I think your family will Love you forever if you do!