We’re a couple of weeks into football season, and though the team I’m rooting for has lost both games so far, I still have hope for a victorious turnaround. Sundays in the fall are a little more relaxing knowing that the day will be spent with not only football, but good food. I purchased a Slow Cooker in anticipation of lazy Sundays, and it may have been the best purchase I’ve made in a long time. Slow Cooker Sundays is officially happening.
In honor of football season kicking off (hah), I watched the classic movie Rudy. I first watched Rudy on a middle school camping trip amongst all my peers, but I admit I only remember certain scenes and it didn’t move me the way I feel like it should have. Rudy is about a young man who is determined to overcome the odds of his small build and circumstances to fulfill his dream of playing college football for the University of Notre Dame.
It’s always inspiring to see someone overcome their situation and work hard to make their dreams come true, but what I liked most about this movie was that it was realistic about the outcome. Rudy is certainly uplifting and powerful, and don’t be alarmed if you get emotional at times.
I made pulled pork sandwiches, Cole Slaw, and homemade BBQ sauce to eat while watching Rudy. Pulled pork sandwiches are insanely delicious for not only movie night, but also for game day. Pop the pork in the Slow Cooker or oven and let the magic happen while you run errands, clean, prepare other snacks, or get started on the movie/football game. These sandwiches do take some planning ahead of time since you’ll want to let the pork slow cook on the lowest setting for about 8 hours. I cooked my 2.5 pound pork shoulder for 7.5 hours, and it turned out delicious. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The BBQ sauce seems more difficult than it actually is to make, but it’s really not to bad and a little bit goes a long way.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe
Pork shoulder (2-3 lbs.)
1 apple, sliced
1 bottle of hard cider (I used a 375 ml bottle of Querry Sparkling Hard Cider)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 head of cabbage, cut into thin strips
1 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. celery salt
1 carrot, shredded thinly
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tbsp. molasses
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1. Mix the onion powder, thyme, oregano, celery salt, garlic powder, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Rub spices onto pork shoulder, pressing flavor into the meat. Do this twice around all sides of the pork.
2. Lay slices of apple into the Slow Cooker (or deep pan if you’re using an oven), and pour the hard cider on top. This will give the pork moisture when it’s slow cooking for 8 hours.
3. Lay the pork shoulder onto the apples and cider with the fattiest side up. This will allow the fat to drip down the rest of the pork shoulder and give it more flavor.
4. Set the Slow Cooker on the low setting for 8 hours. Step away and get ready to enjoy the amazing aromas this pork will release throughout the day.
5. After about 7.5 to 8 hours, remove the pork from the Slow Cooker or oven and remove the fat. Take two forks and shred the pork shoulder into small pieces. This should be ridiculously easy, as the pork will be moist and tender.
1. In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, milk, salt, pepper, poppy seeds, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and celery salt together.
2. Mix in thinly sliced cabbage until each piece evenly covered. Refrigerate until pork is ready.
1. In a small pan over low heat, combine ketchup, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, brown sugar, molasses, and salt. Whisk together until smooth.
2. If the apple cider vinegar is still too vinegar-y for your taste, boil the sauce down for 10-12 minutes.
3. I poured my BBQ sauce into a pig condiment bottle.
Putting Together the Sandwiches
1. On a Hawaiian roll, layer pork, BBQ sauce, and Cole Slaw on top of the bottom bun. Add top bun and enjoy. The 2.5 lb. pork shoulder makes 20+ roll sandwiches.
Happy eating and watching!
Food images by Lauren Jessen; Rudy photos by TriStar Pictures