I love unattended cooking. Saying that, it’s surprising that I don’t like crock pots. Then, again, an oven is so much more versatile – and I don’t have to feed a family 10 minutes after walking in the door. I get their usefulness. I’m just not crazy about the results.

An oven browns and caramelizes and intensifies flavors – like it did today for tonight’s pulled pork.

The concept for tonight’s dinner came from a Cook’s Country recipe for Citrus-Braised Pork Tacos. I just wanted the pork because I was making sandwiches, not tacos, and it looked like it was something that could be played with.

It was.

Pulled Pork

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon annatto
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 2 pound boneless pork roast, cut into 1-inch chunks

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, oregano, annatto, ­allspice, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste begins to darken, about 45 seconds. Stir in water, orange juice, 2 tablespoons vinegar, Worcestershire, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper, scraping up any browned bits.

Add pork and bring to boil. Transfer to a 300°F oven, uncovered, and cook until pork is tender, about 2-3 hours, ­stirring halfway through cooking.

Remove from oven, shred pork, and enjoy!

This is what it looked like coming out of the oven after about 3 hours.

And this is what it looked like after shredding into a nice, clean pot.

Of course, one cannot have sandwiches without bread, so off I went to look for a fun roll recipe. I found the Knotted Dinner Roll recipe I’ve used a few times and decided to just make them as buns instead of knotted rolls.

Easy peasy.

Half went into the freezer for another day. So much for trying to clean it out a bit.

Oh well.

Off to eat a couple of cookies