Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

Sometimes I make my own BBQ sauce, which (by the way) isn’t difficult. At all.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

And yet, other times I use bottled BBQ sauce. Luckily it’s easy to find an organic, simple BBQ sauce (with pronounceable ingredients) these days at most grocery stores – even the “regular” chain stores like Safeway, not only specialty stores like Wegmans, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (all of which I love, but aren’t always convenient for everyone).

So, the other morning I had 10 extra minutes before we needed to leave for school and work – a miracle, I know. I also had a lovely pork roast sitting in my fridge from the weekend’s grocery shopping trip. And a bottle of organic BBQ sauce.

HELLO DINNER!

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

All I did was coat the pork roast with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then I dumped about a quarter of the jarred BBQ sauce into the bottom of my slow cooker, set the roast on top (fat side up), then coated the roast with all of the remaining sauce, covered my slow cooker and set it for 9 hours on low.

That’s. It.

When I got home from work I used two forks to break the roast apart into pulled pork, and then I let it sit for a while in the BBQ sauce and juices while I prepared the other things to go along with it.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ: for those days when you need a “set it and forget it” recipe that can be thrown together in five minutes at 8 a.m.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 2-3 pound pork roast
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 jar BBQ sauce, preferably organic
Instructions
  1. Pour ¼ of the BBQ sauce into the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Coat the entire pork roast with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set it into the slow cooker, fat side up. Pour the remaining BBQ sauce on top of the pork roast, making sure it's covered on all sides. Cover the slow cooker and set it on low for 9 hours.
  3. Use 2 forks to pull the pork apart and shred it, right in the slow cooker. Give the pulled pork a stir to evenly coat it with the BBQ sauce and juices. Let it sit while you make the rest of your dinner.
  4. Serve with buns or by itself.
Notes
If your slow cooker has an automatic "warm" setting after the cooking time is up, it's okay to let the pork roast sit for a while before you pull it apart (like if the 9 hours of cooking time is up before you get home from work).

 

 

Baked Italian Meatballs

Baked Italian Meatballs

Barbecue Pork Meatballs are a favorite in our house, although my 5-year old will call me out if I make the sauce too spicy (seriously, how tomato sauce, brown sugar and mustard can be spicy is beyond me…but we all know how “testy” those young palates can be).

Staring at a pound of ground pork in the fridge the other day, I thought I’d try my hand at another version of those meatballs. Something with a completely different flavor. Like the way a “spaghetti and meatballs” meatball tastes, but without the spaghetti. And not at all like spaghetti and meatballs.

What?

So, with fresh basil, shredded mozzarella and an unfinished can of tomato paste in the fridge, the flavor direction came together nicely.

Baked Italian Meatballs

I used ground pork in these Baked Italian Meatballs because that’s what I happened to have already thawed in my fridge. You could also make these with ground beef or turkey, or even with meatloaf blend (pork/veal/beef). Whatever floats your boat!

Also, if you don’t have oats on hand, you can use Italian bread crumbs, panko or even stale bread ripped into tiny pieces.

AND, if you’re looking for a good party recipe, these (or the Barbecue Pork Meatballs) would be great baked in a mini muffin tin, and served via toothpicks. They’d probably only take about 20 minutes to cook at the mini size.

Cheers!

Baked Italian Meatballs
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped basil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat the inside of a 6-spot muffin tin with non-stick spray or with butter.
  2. Combine the pork, oats, egg, ⅛ cup tomato paste, basil, ½ cup mozzarella, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix it well!
  3. Form the pork mixture into 6 meatballs and place one in each spot of the muffin tin. Top them with the remaining tomato paste and mozzarella.
  4. Bake the Italian meatballs for 30 minutes, and let them rest for 5 minutes in the tin before removing them to eat.

Barbecue Pork Meatballs

barbecue pork meatballs, ground pork recipes

It was one of those weekends. You know, the kind where you’re sitting in front of the TV on Sunday going, “Where the heck’d the weekend go? How in the world is tomorrow Monday?” Whirlwind, it was.

My youngest turned 5-years old on Saturday. He’s at the age where a modest party still thrills to no end, and a few Spider-man masks, simple cupcakes and his neighborhood buddies are enough to plaster a smile on his face all day.

barbecue pork meatballs, ground pork recipes

This changes, by the way, when the child is both a girl and turning 8-years old. My 8-soon-to-be-9-year old happens to be the one peering from behind her Spider-man mask. She’s already planning her party. It’s in FEBRUARY.

Onward.

This weekend I also baked up a batch of mini zucchini muffins (with zucchini I shredded and froze this summer – best idea EVER), my daughter carved her pumpkin from my parents’ farm, and we managed to hit the park and play outside A LOT. It was a good, tiring, productive weekend.

barbecue pork meatballs, ground pork recipes

I also had a pound of ground pork in the fridge that needed to be used or frozen. I scoured the interwebs looking for inspiration, and something other than tacos or chili. What I found was an interesting recipe for pork meatballs on the Pork Be Inspired site.

Inspiration, you have found me!

Barbecue Pork Meatballs
 
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{Adapted from All-Star Pork Meatballs via porkbeinspired.com}
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1-pound ground pork
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 6-spot muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the pork, onion, egg, parsley, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and cheese to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, brown sugar and mustard, and then add ½ of the sauce to the pork mixture.
  3. Use your hands to mix the pork and other ingredients until they're well combined. Shape the mixture into 6 large meatballs, and add one to each cup of the muffin tin. Pour the remaining sauce mixture on top of each meatball.
  4. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes, and let them rest for another 5 minutes before serving.

 

Baked Barbecue Pork Chops

barbecue pork chops, easy pork chop recipe, baked pork chops

Pork chops, they’re like a familiar and comfortable memory. We eat pork chops a lot, and while I have been buying organic bacon, I still have yet to find organic pork in the form of roasts and chops at a nearby supermarket.

Speaking of nostalgia, but totally unrelated to food, I’ve been rewatching LOST On Demand over the past couple months while some of my favorite TV shows have been on hiatus. To say I loved it the first time around may be underestimating my adoration. So for me to say that this time around I love it just as much? It’s true.

If you’ve never watched LOST, then you’re in for a treat – but you must start from the very, very beginning: Season 1, Episode 1. It’s worth it, and I dare you to stop from watching the next 10 episodes without stopping.

Side note: I may have done the same obsessive maneuver with Downton Abbey when I first discovered Season 1 last year.

But, back to nostalgia and food. Pork chops…nom!

Baked Barbecue Pork Chops
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 boneless thin cut pork chops
  • 1 bottle organic barbecue sauce
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour ½ the jar of barbecue sauce into the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish, and then lay the pork chops on top in a single layer.
  4. Sprinkle the onion and parsley on top of the pork chops, and then top with the remaining barbecue sauce.
  5. Bake the pork chops for 30 minutes.
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