Although I have been wanting to try a Root Beer Pulled Pork since I first ran across it, I wasn't really planning on posting it. It's one of those things like Cake Pops, Macarons, etc. that seem to be everywhere you turn, so why would anyone want to see it again? That's why this is for New Yorkers only - not to thumb my nose at the rest of you, but my recipe involves a sauce that I'm pretty sure is only available in New York right now - Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
If you live in NY or are visiting and haven't been yet, definitely add Dinosaur to your To Do List! Be prepared for a wait, but it's well worth it! We frequent the one in Syracuse, but there are now three other locations as well: Rochester, Harlem, and Troy. My sister and her family have lived in this area for years, but it wasn't until my brother-in-law was on a job site on the other side of the country that he heard about Dinosaur. Not being a big BBQ fan, it wouldn't have been on his radar, but for the fact that people from all over the country were having a conversation about how fantastic it is and telling him that he HAD to check it out. He did, not expecting to enjoy it, but now it's one of his favorite restaurants. It seems funny that I was living down South at the time and they had better BBQ here in NY.
The other thing that is a little different about my recipe is that I made it with a tenderloin, rather than the usual Pork Butt or Shoulder. I looked at some roasts, but they were very fatty. Although that would add flavor, knowing I would be slow cooking it on low, I was thinking it might not melt away and really didn't want to be eating blobs of fat or having to be picking them out as we ate. The tenderloin is plenty flavorful and much more lean. I also decided to include some sweet onion, thinking they would impart their own flavor to the mix and really be sweet after soaking in all that root beer.
The sides are some Mac and Cheese my sister had made, a can of B&M Baked Beans I doctored up with just a little ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar, and some homemade pickles and broccoli slaw. I'll be posting the pickles and slaw over the next few days if you're interested. The pickles were a HUGE hit. The slaw needs a little work on the dressing.
1 pkg Pork Tenderloin
+/- 24 oz root beer
2 lg sweet onions, sliced into thick rings
1 bottle Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Wango Tango Habanero Hot BBQ Sauce to taste
Ooh, I just went to pull up links to the sauce and realized you can buy it online!
Talk about an easy recipe! Just toss the pork in a crock pot, top with the onion slices and enough root beer just to cover, set it to low and walk away.
[ That's apparently only an expression ... pop it in the crock pot and walk away ... I made that mistake. I came back about an hour and a half later to see how things were going and figured out that I had managed to pop a circuit, so it wasn't on at all!! That would have screwed up our time-range for dinner on that particular evening, but my sister had made a Baked Macaroni and Cheese that I was going to portion out as a side, so we ended up eating that with a salad for dinner instead of the pork and coming back to this the next night. For those of you who haven't popped a circuit ... ]
After 5-6 hours, when the pork is fall-apart tender, pour out the root beer and use two forks to shred the meat. When nobody is looking, sneak a bite to see how it tastes with just the root beer. Pretty good already, right?? And those onions, mmmmm! Now stir in as much of the Sensuous Slathering Sauce as you like. As much as I love the sauce, I can't stand eating a drippy sandwich, so I tend to be conservative, leaving more sauce on the side for anyone who wants it.
Pile the pork onto your roll of choice (I used Bulkie Rolls), and top with the Wango Tango Sauce. That's what really makes the dish, that kick of sweet heat. OMG, I'm drooling as I write this, just thinking about it. I loved it as it was, but I may or may not add a drop or two of liquid smoke next time. That might really put it over the top. :)