Maybe it's a regional thing, but I adore BBQ! Kentucky has some BBQ joints that could stand up to Memphis any day, in my opinion! The tomato based sauce is usually most popular here, although I've had a really good mustard-based one, too.
Western Kentucky brings the crowds with their BBQ festivals. The one I'm the most familiar with is in Paducah, and it's usually during the first weekend of fall, at the end of September. Tents and smokers galore are set up and the aroma of savory smoked BBQ wafts throughout downtown-riverfront area. It's fun to eat from different places from year to year, although we usually don't stray too far from our favorites. There are a couple places that have all the right things going on like... perfectly smoked, tender, lean meat that's pulled with a kickin' flavorful sauce that will make you wish you ordered a large lemon shake-up!!
Awe ..... the days of warmer weather...
What you may not know is that you can easily make juicy and flavorful pork BBQ at home in your crock pot. This melt in your mouth BBQ is based on a recipe that Mom loves to make, and we love to eat! Usually a pork "butt" or shoulder is the traditional cut of meat to use and that's incredibly delicious, but since I found it's leaner counter-part pork tenderloin on sale last week, that's what I used. Also, I didn't have a bottle of BBQ sauce, but I tweaked this easy recipe I found online and came up with incredible spicy BBQ sauce that's delicious in this recipe! Of course, you can use whatever your favorite sauce is. This recipe, like most of mine, are easy and flexible fitting to your taste!
The aroma of this cooking all day in the kitchen makes you anticipate supper-time even more! I serve this incredible homemade BBQ like Mom always does on warm, soft Hawaiian buns and with bread & butter pickles...those are a must! Coleslaw would be amazing with this, but this time I just served my homemade oven french fries. It was so good to have BBQ pork sandwich on a cold dreary night as a reminder there are warmer, brighter days ahead!
Crock-Pot Pork BBQ Tenderloin Sandwiches
Serves about 6
2 Pork Tenderloins (about 2.5 lb. total)
Salt & Pepper
Homemade BBQ Sauce (see below for recipe) or large bottle of your favorite sauce
6 Hawaiian- Style Buns
Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
I recommend doubling this recipe if you like lots of sauce. Add half to the crock pot with the pork and cook the other half over medium-low heat in a saucepan for extra in the sandwiches. So good!
1 c. Ketchup
1/4 c. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Chipotle Chile Pepper (In the spice isle. This adds amazing smokey flavor!)
1 clove of garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
1 tsp. Onion Powder
Mix all of this up really well in a bowl and it's ready.
Cut the pork tenderloins in half, width-wise. Now you'll have 4 pieces. Salt and pepper the pork well.
In a large cast iron skillet over med-high heat and drizzled with olive oil, pan sear the tenderloin to get some brown color on all sides. Remove from the pan directly to the crock-pot already set on low heat.
Pour the sauce over the top. If you doubled the homemade sauce recipe, then pour about half over the meat.
Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
Remove the 4 tenderloins that are now tender and cooked and set on a cutting board. Cut and shred the pork. Don't shred way too much, because the more you stir and work with the pork the more it will naturally shred.
Place back into the crock pot and stir around in the sauce that it's been cooking in all day.
Serve on warm buns with extra sauce poured over the pork BBQ. Top your sandwich with pickles or eat on the side, but whatever you do...
Don't look away or your sandwich will be eaten up! ;)
Leftovers store well in the fridge and would be delicious in tortillas for pork carnitas!
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