Pastured Pulled Pork

by lydia on September 14, 2011

Okay I have a confession to make, I have never made pulled pork. Well, of course, until recently. For some strange reason I had this insatiable urge to make it. Could it have been all the signs around locally promoting their own pulled pork, at the Farmer’s markets and produce markets? Quite possibly that prompted me, but who knows. I think I realized deep down it was a challenge I needed to take on, and it seemed like an easy way to feed a crowd. Since life has been nutty around here, what with moving and being in transition ALL summer, I knew this was a meal I had to have in my repertoire. Thankfully, my farmer had just the right cut and the right amount of pork shoulder available recently, so I set out to come up with my own delicious version of pulled pork. In my research of this tasty all-American dish I learned that there are several styles, much like with ribs. You most certainly could do a barbecue version, but that did not entice me. Of course smoking is the primo of ways to make it, however not feasible for every home cook unless you have a smoker or a way to long smoke your pork over a low fire. Not so practical for the majority of folks. Then there is the Carolina vinegar style, which I must admit did not ‘thrill’ me, but I knew it was feasible and I remembered having learned about the vinegar ‘mops’ for ribs long ago. I decided to give this method a try in my crockpot, while additionally brining the meat beforehand. I was VERY satisfied with the results. The basic jist is this, brine the meat for 24 hours, rub it with a spice rub you like, place it in the crockpot with sliced onions and garlic, cover it with liquid and turn it on – low and slow baby. Sounds simple, right? Overall, my version of pulled pork is a medley of many styles, or should I say, it’s just what clicked for me personally?! I hope you will try it out, we enjoy it immensely and everyone I’ve served this too has raved about it!


Pastured Pulled Pork


  • 6-8 pounds pork shoulder, or boneless butt (with a nice edge of fat)
  • 2 large vidalia onions, sliced
  • garlic, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • For the brine:
  • 2 quarts water kefir, (preferably a flavor that would be suitable to pork) OR,
  • make a brine of 3/4 cup molasses, 1 1/2 cups salt and 2 quarts water
  • For the rub:
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (sub honey if on GAPS, this will make it a wet rub)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or more if you like a bit of spice)
  • 3 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • For the vinegar mop:
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • several splashes of, worcestershire sauce, fish sauce or some gluten free tamari
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder or dijon mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste


  1. In a large bowl place the pork and cover with the brine, place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Remove the meat from brine and pat dry. Cover liberally with the spice rub, making sure to coat all surfaces evenly with the rub.
  2. Place the sliced onions and garlic in a large slow cooker. Put the pork over top the onions and add about 1/3 of the vinegar mixture. Cook for about 10-12 hours on low. Check the pork halfway through the cooking time to make sure it still has enough liquid, add more of the vinegar mixture if needed. Check for doneness at 10 hours, you can tell it's done if it falls apart easily when you put a fork in it to pull it apart. Shred the pork apart with forks, add more of the vinegar liquid to just barely cover the meat. If by chance you need more liquid use some good homemade bone broth, or if you like some barbecue sauce.
  3. The brine is not absolutely necessary to ensure a tender juicy outcome, I simply utilized this method to impart extra flavor to the meat. So long as your cut of pork has plenty of fat, you should get a very tender juicy end product.
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LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health From The Inside Out in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Sign up for the Divine Health From The Inside Out newsletter! Pick up a copy of Lydia’s eBook; ‘Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals’.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tiffany@ The Coconut Mama September 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Sounds yummy, Lydia!


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