I’m not sure if I’ve ever fully expressed my love for North Carolina Barbecue.
I’m a bit of a purist with it too – I like it almost straight up vinegar with no tomato, ketchup or mustard to muss it up. A simple mix of cider vinegar and some seasonings and I am in heaven.
There’s just something about pork covered with vinegar that goes together so well. I’m not sure why it works, I just know that I love it.
Now obviously this isn’t true barbecue, there’s no smoke, no fire to make it truly a thing of glory.
But when it’s the middle of the Winter and you don’t even have an outdoor space much less a smoker I do what I can to at least get an approximation of the flavor I crave.
The benefit of this recipe is that it’s ridiculously easy. It really is a matter of mixing together the sauce, pouring it over the pork loin and letting it cook low and slow for an extended amount of time.
I will note though – the slaw is not optional. While I’m not including a slaw recipe, I highly recommend that you use your favorite traditional slaw and load it on your sandwich. There’s something about the tang of the vinegar covered pork in contrast to the creamy sweetness of the slaw that just takes this over the top.
Nutritional Info does not include slaw. If you're focused on keeping it healthy, make sure you make a healthy slaw to round it all out.
- 4 whole wheat buns
- 1 lb pork loin, trimmed
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp hot sauce (use an American style traditional one such as Red Hot)
- 1 tsp Hickory Liquid Smoke
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- A generous amount of salt and pepper
- Season the pork well with salt and pepper then place into 3 - 4 qt slow cooker.
- Combine apple cider vinegar through cayenne and mix well. Pour over pork, cover and cook on low for 10 – 12 hours.
- Remove pork from cooker (it should almost be falling apart) and put into a bowl to cool slightly. Remove sauce from slow cooker and let sit, skimming off any fat (I actually use a gravy separator for this step).
- Once pork is cool enough to handle, pull apart using two forks. Taste sauce and adjust to taste (More sugar? More hot sauce? then slowly pour over pork stopping when you feel the pork is “saucy” enough. Serve any remaining sauce at table for people to add more if they want. Honestly, I tend to use all the sauce on the pork in the beginning and never have any for the table.