Tried and True: Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions

Yesterday, if you looked out my back window you would have seen a sheet of white – snow wrapped Philadelphia in a heavy white blanket and showed very little chance of slowing down.  The weather crews were baffled as two storms hit the region, providing the northeast with a “one-two punch.”  Many elected to take a snow-day and stay off the roads, including myself.  See, when I lived in New Hampshire, 2 or 4 feet of snow didn’t phase me. Apparently, living in Florida for 7 years turned me into a wuss.  Couple that with living in the hilliest section of Philadelphia, this gal decided to “hunker down” and enjoy a much needed day at home.

Thankfully, I had thought ahead to pick up some fabulous pork the evening prior to make a recipe from this month’s issue of Eating Well magazineEating Well was spotlighting slow cooker recipes that have their own “one-two” punch effects, namely – one ingredients, two different dinners and this recipe for Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions was perfect.  The spicy chipotle married well with the chili sauce and apple cider vinegar.  Plus, the caramelized onions added the perfect note of sweetness. It was a simple recipe with just a few simple pantry ingredients and you know I’ll look for any excuse to break out my favorite slow cooker!  This recipe hits the tried & true file and I can’t wait to make the Round 2 recipe – a pulled pork torta.  However, that’s another post for another day.  For now, I’ll just look out the back porch window and relish the winter wonderland for a spell.

Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup turbinado sugar (aka sugar in the raw)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of Heinz chili sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons of minced chipotle chili in adobo (I'm a wuss – I couldn't go hotter)
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (however, I used loin - worked just as well)
  1. Heat the olive oil in either a large skillet or, if possible, the insert of the slow cooker, over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 – 6 minutes until they begin to soften. At that point, add the raw sugar and continue to cook until the onions are a rich golden brown, stirring continuously for 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to the onion mixture and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook until the vinegar is mostly evaporated which should take another minute.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the chili sauce and chipotle chilies.
  6. Place pork in the slow cooker and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook until the pork is almost falling apart (4 hours on high; 8 hours on low).
  7. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Stir back into the sauce and serve.
Adapted from Eating Well Magazine, Feb. 2011

Note: If you plan on making the Pulled Pork Torta with the leftovers, you will need to reserve about 3 cups of the pork and sauce.

Gather Your Ingredients


Grab the tissues before you chop – it’s a LOT of onions


The proverbial action shot – time to add the sugar


Ahhh – caramelized goodness.  Is there anything better?


Prepping the Pork For Its “Sauna”


The end result – no need for takeout from your local BBQ.  Phenomenal!

[FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate and/or referral links which help offset the cost of hosting this site. However, as always, my opinions are 100% my own]

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  1. says

    Wow, that pulled pork looks delicious! I’ve never made it before, but it’s one of my faves—I’l definitely have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for the great post!!


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