Last Thursday I received a box of apples from our friends at Stemilt Fruit Company in Wenatchee (thanks, Brianna!!). These were no ordinary apples, but a beautiful new variety called Piñata. A cross between Golden Delicious and two heirloom varieties, Cox’s Orange Pippin and The Duchess of Oldenburg, Piñata apples are bi-colored with crisp, tart, juicy flesh. The folks at Stemilt have just started distributing Piñata apples all across the country, so be on the lookout for this new variety at your grocery store soon.
Since yesterday was a big football day for us (Oh, Seahawks…you were so close!), I decided to use some of the Piñata apples in a batch of slow cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork. My plan was to serve pulled pork sliders during the game, but I did not get up early enough to make that happen… so we ended up eating it for dinner and it was delicious!
If you like the taste of pork chops and apple sauce, you will love this pulled pork recipe. The pork slowly cooks in hard apple cider seasoned with ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. A generous portion of caramelized onions and apples gets stirred in at the end, adding depth and sweetness to this savory pulled pork.
Serve on buns with a little BBQ sauce, or with a side of mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Want to learn more about Piñata Apples? Watch this fun video from Stemilt Fruit Company:
- 48 oz. hard apple cider
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3.5 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- ½ tsp. ginger
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large apples, cored and thinly sliced
- Combine the hard cider, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, dry mustard and ginger in a 5 quart (or larger) slow cooker. Whisk to combine well.
- Add the roast and a little water, if needed, so the meat is completely covered by liquid.
- Cook until the pork is very tender (about 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low).
- Just before the meat finishes cooking, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until they are very soft and lightly browned.
- Add the apples and 1 cup of broth from the slow cooker. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.
- When the meat is very tender, remove it from the slow cooker to a large bowl. Use tongs or two forks to shred the meat, discarding any large pieces of fat.
- Stir in the onion mixture. Add a little additional broth to moisten the meat, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Serving suggestions:
- Serve on a toasted bun with BBQ sauce and a side of slaw or with a side of mashed potatoes or rice and a little extra sauce.