There's an interesting story behind why I picked my recipe for Slow Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork in Sugar Pumpkins. This month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment is the Fit Mama Real Food blog by Heather. So I poked around her blog wanted to see if she did any slow cooker recipes . Luckily I found one, Cranberry Pulled Pork in Sweet Squash Boats, that reminded me about this Thanksgiving’s request from my family.
You see, my son Nathan doesn’t want eat turkey for Thanksgiving and asked me to make him barbecue! Usually I make a crockpot ham with chutney sauce. However, after reading over Heather’s cranberry pulled pork, I thought I would turn it into Slow Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork in Sugar Pumpkins making it perfect for a Thanksgiving feast.
First, I decided to used dried cranberries in my Slow Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork. This would also make it easier recipe to make year round, too, since it’s hard to find fresh cranberries during the spring or summer. The cranberries are already sweetened, which eliminates the need for the sucanat or any other sweetener.
Second, I decided to serve Slow Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork in pumpkins instead of squash boats just because that’s the seasonal thing to do. Finally, I tweaked the portions a bit from Heather’s recipe because my pork loin was larger. (It’s hard to find a small pork loin here in Georgia, go figure. Everyone here’s a little pork crazy.)
Slow Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork in Sugar Pumpkins would be an awesome recipe to make for a party for a DIY sliders bar. So keep Slow Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork in mind if you’re doing any holiday entertaining!
Slow Cooker Cranberry Pulled Pork in Sugar Pumpkins
For the pork
- 3 1/2 pound pork loin, fat trimmed off
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon dried mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth or stock
For the pumpkins
- 3 small sugar or pie pumpkins, about 2 pounds each
Optional for serving
- Whole wheat or gluten free buns or bread
- Barbecue sauce, pickles, coleslaw, etc.
For the pork
- In a small bowl, mix together spices. Sprinkle spices over both sides of meat and rub to coat evenly. Place pork loin into slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl, mix together dried cranberries, raisins, and broth. Pour on top of the pork.
- Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or high for about 5 to 6. Cook until the pork can be shredded easily with a fork.
For the pumpkins
- When the pork is nearly ready, wash the outside of the pumpkins. Pat dry with a clean dish towel or paper towel. Then cut the top of the pumpkin off to make a nice lid. Scoop out all the seeds (save them for roasting!) and stringy bits.
- Place pumpkin skin side up in a glass baking dish. Add 1/4 inch of water and cover pan with plastic wrap and vent. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes ) until pumpkin is tender but not caving in.
- Spoon the pulled pork into the pumpkins.
- When serving, scoop the inside of pumpkin along with the meat. Serve the pulled pork with the mashed pumpkin in bowls or on buns or bread to make pulled pork sandwiches. Add your favorite barbecue sauce, pickles, coleslaw and other favorite pulled pork sandwich accompaniments if you wish.
- Serving size: 1/8 to 1/10 of the recipe
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