When it comes to summer drinks, a favorite at our house is root beer. There’s something about root beer that really makes summer even more fun. Maybe it’s the nostalgia or even the fact it’s awesome poured over a mug of vanilla ice cream. But aside from its obvious sweetness, root beer does well in savory applications too. For example, in these Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches, its sweetness lends itself well with a homemade bbq sauce and tender, slow-cooked pork. You’ll be surprised how versatile root beer is after having one of these sandwiches!
When I saw root beer was on sale at the store, I immediately thought of making some root beer floats for a nice summer treat. But you can only have so many root beer floats. With a few cans to spare, I used one can for this recipe. It’s also a recipe that’s perfect for summer because it won’t heat up your kitchen since all the magic happens in a slow cooker! So grab some root beer, pour some over a few scoops of ice cream, add a can to a slow cooker with some pork, and enjoy a lazy summer with a no-fuss meal…
The Ingredient Symphony for a Memorable Meal
The Key Ingredients
- Pork Shoulder (or Pork Butt) – The hero ingredient that guarantees the tender, pull-apart texture we all crave.
- Root Beer – The sweet summertime beverage that imparts a distinct caramel undertone.
- Barbecue Sauce – A quintessential component that offers a spicy, tangy contrast.
- Onion – It’s not just for the crunch, but also for the aromatic depth it lends.
- Salt & Pepper – The classic duo that brings forth the pork’s natural flavors.
- Buns – Your canvas for cradling the juicy, flavorful pork.
Sidekicks: Suggested Accompaniments
What’s a hero without its sidekick? While the sandwich is a star, pairing it with crispy homemade fries, a refreshing cucumber salad, or smoky baked beans can elevate your meal. And for beverage pairings? A chilled glass of iced tea or a frosty beer complements the dish beautifully.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use a cut other than pork shoulder? While pork shoulder is ideal for its marbling and tenderness, pork loin or tenderloin can also be used, though they might not be as succulent.
2. Can this recipe be made using an oven? Absolutely! However, adjustments to cooking time and temperature will be necessary. Slow-roasting at a low temperature is recommended.
3. How can I store leftover pulled pork? Once cooled, transfer the pork to an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
4. Can I use diet root beer? Certainly. Diet root beer will offer a slightly different sweetness level but will still impart a delicious flavor to the pork.
5. What can I use instead of barbecue sauce? While BBQ sauce offers a tangy kick, alternatives like a mustard-based sauce, teriyaki, or even a spicy salsa can be used to mix things up.
6. Any vegetarian alternatives? Jackfruit, due to its texture and ability to absorb flavors, makes an excellent vegetarian substitute for pork.
7. Can I freeze the pulled pork mixture? Yes, ensure it’s cooled completely before transferring to freezer bags. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.Print
- 1 (2 pound) pork butt or pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
- BBQ sauce (recipe follows)
- 8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons light molasses
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Plug in the IP with insert set in place.
- Add the pork and root beer into the IP.
- Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.
- Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 60 minutes on HIGH pressure.
- The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.
- Once at pressure, the display will reflect 60 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.
- When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 60 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure). No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure.
- When the display reflects 15 (which is 15 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it’s safe to open.
- Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).
- Remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer into a large bowl. Discard the remaining liquid in the IP and return the pork back to the now empty IP.
- Whisk the BBQ sauce ingredients in a medium bowl; Add the BBQ sauce to the pork in the IP and shred as you toss to coat. Fill the hamburger buns with the pork and serve.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
Keywords: root beer, pulled pork