Shredded Cola Pork Shoulder

Lizzy Wermuth, LizzyW.com
Lizzy Wermuth, LizzyW.com

Shredded Cola Pork

The hardest part of this recipe was having the will-power to keep the oven door closed for 5 hours with the smell of heaven seeping through the door.  This has to be one of the easiest, most amazing pork recipes I have ever tried.  The meat is so tender, I picked up a piece with my fork and half of it fell back down to the plate... so tender and juicy... I'm having trouble not eating the whole thing.  Plus... thanks to the iGrill mini thermometer I was able to go about doing everything else I needed to do without having to monitor it once!

I'm currently healing from knee surgery so I really needed something easy to cook, where I wouldn't have to be on my feet very long.  This recipe is so simple - it took about 5 minutes of prep, I plugged in my iGrill mini to monitor the temperature, and then laid on the couch till it was done (well, I won't lie... the smell was too amazing... I had to sample a few times :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet yellow onions, quartered
  • 1 pork shoulder (also called pork butt), about 5-7 lb.
  • salt and pepper to taste (season generously, you only season once and that is the only time the seasoning will seep into the meat).
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. spicy mustard powder
  • 2 cans coca cola (root beer and dr. pepper also give amazing flavor)
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce OR the following mixture:
    • 4 mild or hot peppers, 2 tbsp. pickapeppa sauce, 1 tsp. liquid smoke, 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce.
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped (or baby carrots)

Directions:

1) Dry the pork shoulder well.  Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.

2) In a large dutch oven, place quartered onions on the bottom of the pan to create a sort of stand for the pork shoulder.

3) Season both sides of the pork shoulder with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, and spicy mustard powder.  Lay the pork on top of the onions.  Pour in the brown sugar, cola, and canned chipotle peppers (or chipotle pepper alternative).  It is VERY important here to season the pork well with salt and pepper - this is the only time during cooking your seasoning will actually seep into the meat.

4) Place your iGrill meat thermometer in the very center of the meat, cover tightly with lid, and place in the oven.  You will want to cook the meat a minimum of 5 hours, or until the meat reaches a temperature at least 185-195 degrees F.  To get the meat fall off the bone tender, cook at least to that temperature range - the time that it sits between 165-180 degrees is the crucial "magic" time where all the connective tissue cartilage breaks down, allowing the pork to enter the juicy, fall off your fork heaven you want it!

5) During the last 30 minutes of cooking, turn the pork shoulder over, throw in the carrots, seal the lid and place it back in the oven.

6) Once the pork has reach the desired temperature, take it out of the oven and let it rest on a cutting board for 20 minutes.  Skim the fat off the top of the gravy, shred the pork and put it back in the pot.

7) A great side for this dish is rice because the gravy from the pork is unbelievable!!