I mentioned in last week's brew review of Gingerbread Ale that I had talked to Dan on twitter about developing a recipe for Bison Brewing. They sent me two free beers to come up with a recipe. I was so excited to get started. I had an idea of -- how original -- Gingerbread Ale Muffins. I made those last Sunday, took pictures, and then tasted the finish product. Yeah...not blog worthy. I started worrying a bit as the sun was starting to go down (dang daylight savings). I had about three-fourths of a beer left, and I wanted to come up with something fast! So, I made Gingerbread Ale Waffles. While the end product was delightfully tasty, I felt I hadn't done a good enough job. I wanted to be proud of my work, and I just wasn't. So, Gingerbread Ale Waffles did not make the cut either. That night I was disappointed with my creativity and end products. I went to bed hounding myself of what I could make, and then it came to me. I dreamt up my new recipe, and I had a really great feeling about it.
I was now out of Gingerbread Ale and had to find where to buy it. I had hoped the Whole Foods near my house would have it, so I sent David to pick some up last Thursday. Of course, they did not have it. Friday we called multiple places; our favorite deli near our home that sells Bison and nope, then Bottle Barn and nope. Finally we got lucky and the newer bigger Whole Foods said they had it stocked. YES! David went after work and picked us up a 4 pack. We also scored because it was a $1.00 off! That always makes me happy. Yes, I get super happy to save one dollar. Is that normal?
Yesterday morning I got up and first thing I did was get this pork in the oven. I wanted to do it originally in our Crock-pot, but wouldn't you know ours won't hold a five pound pork shoulder? No worries, my Dutch oven came to the rescue.
I do have to come clean. This was the first time I've ever made pulled pork, and I am kind of patting myself on my back. It came out so delicious! I learned that pulled pork is super easy to make, and I'm guessing probably foolproof. It's one of those dishes that seems like it's difficult to make, but I just left that thing in the oven, checked on it every two hours, and that was that. The most difficult task was getting that sucker out of the Dutch oven. A steaming hot 5 pound pork shoulder is a little scary! I mean, I didn't want to drop that piece of meat. Alas, I did not. I shredded it and had a huge plate full of pulled pork heaven. I even have enough leftover to make some pulled pork enchiladas for dinner tonight.
Don't let the Gingerbread Ale scare you out of making these. This beer has lots of wintery spices, but none are overpowering. This beer is the perfect beer to cook your pork in. The flavor is very mild and also pairs well with the tangy blue cheese in the coleslaw. You don't have to use my coleslaw, feel free to use your own favorite. I'd rate these as some of the best pulled pork sliders I've ever had! Thanks to Bison Brewing for sending me free beers to taste and play around with!
Gingerbread Ale Pulled Pork Sliders
5-7 pounds pork shoulder
1 large onion, halved and then 1/2" slices
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 (12 oz) Bison Brewing Gingerbread Ale's
Blue Cheese Coleslaw
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large Dutch oven spread out onion slices.
2. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Rub all over pork shoulder. Place pork shoulder fat side facing up into Dutch oven. Pour in the Gingerbread Ale's, place lid on top, and bake in oven for 4-6 hours*. Every 2 hours flip the pork over, but make sure to end with the fat side up.
3. Remove the shoulder out of the Dutch oven once the meat is falling off the bone. Place onto a cutting board and start shredding the meat with two forks. Be careful to keep the fat in a separate pile. Spoon out some of the cooked onions and the gingerbread cooking ale and pour over the shredded pork.
4. Serve pulled pork on slider buns and top with blue cheese coleslaw.
Depending on the size of your shoulder the cooking time will vary. I cooked 5 pounds and it took 4.5 hours. You'll know it's done when the meat is falling off the bone when you poke it with a fork.