Lighter Pulled Pork

light pulled pork

May 8, 2016   7 Comments

Do you like pulled-pork sandwiches? I know that barbecue lovers everywhere can tell you where a good pulled-pork sandwich can be found measured in minutes from their home.

There are a myriad of ways to make pulled pork, but the cut of meat is usually pork shoulder. Pork shoulder is also know as “Boston butt” and your butt will be the size of Boston if you eat too much of it.

Six ounces packs a wollop with 32 grams of fat (and 12 grams of saturated fat, which is 60 percent of your daily value). This is why people will drive for hours for their favorite barbecue!

My lighter version uses pork tenderloin that has a mere 6 grams of fat per 6-ounce serving. The key to making this good is to cook it in the slow cooker for a long time with a tasty sauce.

If you haven’t tried pulled pork in a slow cooker, then you should. This is one of those recipes where the slow cooker shines and everything is perfect when the dish is finished.

Some would simply dump barbecue sauce in the pot and be done with it, but I like to add a few more flavoring agents such as vinegar, mustard, and lots of garlic.

This can be made ahead and then frozen for future meals. Who needs 20 servings unless you are throwing a party? If you are throwing a party, leave the pork in the slow cooker to stay warm.

Pulled pork is a nice alternative at a BBQ to the usual hamburgers and hot dogs – and you don’t need a grill! Serve on a toasted bun with coleslaw and baked beans on the side.

I pack my kids’ lunches with this instead of boring turkey sandwiches. They love this and I think their friends (who eat pork) are a wee bit jealous.

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Lighter Pulled Pork Recipe

Serves 20, 6 ounces per serving

11⁄2 cups ketchup
11⁄2 cups bottled barbecue sauce (whatever flavor you prefer)
1⁄2 cup Dijon mustard
1⁄4 cup cider vinegar

1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons honey

5 garlic cloves, minced

1⁄2 cup water

2 pork tenderloins (about 5 pounds)

In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, garlic, and water. Submerge the pork tenderloins in the sauce and cook on low for 5 hours.

For 6 ounces = 228 calories, 4.3 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 16.8 g carbohydrates, 13.4 g sugar, 30.3 g protein, 0 g fiber, 562 mg sodium, 6 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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7 Comments:

I have personally eaten this recipe prepared by Snack Girl herself, as we grew up together and she brings it to my annual backyard BBQ! It's fantastic and a crowd pleaser...there are NEVER any leftovers! You can choose to not do a bun it's so good or do open-faced to cut down on carbs.

on May 8, 2016

Sounds really good and will give it a try. I have never made pulled pork because of all the fat but this one I will make. Thanks Lisa for the recipe!!!

on May 8, 2016

Good to know about the cuts of pork! I have used both in the slow cooker, and see that the tenderloin is leaner, but didn't know by how much! The McCormack's seasoning pack works really well too (but I use BBQ sauce instead of ketchup), but will have to try your recipe. With 1 tenderloin, great for dinner & leftovers.

on May 8, 2016

Unfortunately, this recipe is full of sugar. Even if one eats only 6 oz., there is enough sugar to spike blood sugar levels along with the a white bun instead of a multi-grain one.
Don't get me wrong, I eat white sourdough bread but it is a very different type of bread that the body processes differently than regular store bought white bread.
Fat is not so much the problem as simple carbs like sugar and foods high in starches. Fats help stabilize the blood sugar in order to avoid blood sugar spikes and slow digestion. Fats also help us to process certain vitamins.
Here is how we eat pulled pork. The slow cooker or pressure cooker are good ideas. This makes the pork tender, juicy and flavorful.
Once the pork is cooked, we serve it with pico de gallo. Serve with or without steamed corn tortillas for carnitas tacos.
Pico de gallo:
Chopped seeded tomatoes
Fresh cilantro
Chopped scallions or spring onions (green tops only)
(I use a little Louisiana hot sauce on mine but hubby likes his without.)
That's it. No sugar or salt in the pico de gallo. It's a delicious substitute. If you make pico de gallo, be sure to seed the tomatoes. Removing the seeds makes for a less watery pico de gallo and will preserve better in the fridge especially with no salt or sugar which draws the moisture from the veggies.
If salt is desired, it should be on the meat at time of serving.
Pork in many cuts have very little fat compared to beef. Depending on how pork is cooked, most of the fat will be rendered during cooking. :)

Here is a good link for a more lengthy and modern explanation on food nutrition. Science has made great strides in the past few years that will help us to avoid chronic illnesses like diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer.:

http://ecowatch.com/2015/08/27/hyman-slow-carbs-not-low-carbs/

on May 8, 2016

You put 11/2. I think you mean 1-1/2 cups right Lisa? A hypen can make a difference!

on May 8, 2016

Since going vegan this past September I make pulled barbecued red green cabbage with caramelized onions and I don't use any oil either my favorite vegan barbecue sauce simmered with red and green cabbage thinly sliced and served on little teeny slider buns with coleslaw they are delicious

on May 8, 2016

Sheridan, that sounds great! I love sliders, and I'd definitely serve those. What's the flavor note in your sauce...spicy tangy or sweet?

on May 8, 2016


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