Now THIS is a pumpkin recipe I can get behind.
Pumpkin beer pulled pork!
There’s no actual pumpkin involved here, but the cozy, spiced fall flavors are definitely happening.
Who doesn’t love a pumpkin beer this time of year? I am not a HUGE beer drinker (I very much enjoy it – I just don’t drink it often), but come the chilly weather, I crave a pumpkin beer with a cinnamon-sugar rim every single year. Dan and I have so much fun exploring the fall beer selection each year, and we always try something new.
That’s where this idea came from. I thought it would be super fun to translate those pumpkin fall flavors into a savory dish. And pulled pork was the first thing that came to mind!
This pork is so delicious and rich, flavored with warming spices and cooked in pumpkin ale until it is succulent and falling apart. It is so, so good piled high on a soft roll with pickles and cheese or eaten alone, straight out of the slow cooker.
Not that I’d know ANYTHING about the latter. Ahem.
It all starts with a good spice rub. I always rub down my pork shoulder with a spice blend before letting it braise away in the slow cooker. It adds so much flavor each time, and I love switching the spices up to create different flavors.
In this case, we have some of the usual suspects: chili powder, cumin, coriander, onion powder, and garlic powder. Very traditional pulled pork spices.
BUT! We’re also adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to amp up the fall flavors here. We all know these spices work wonderfully with pumpkin (heck, they are most of what makes up “Pumpkin Spice”), but again, we’re applying them in a savory way this time. Which keeps things interesting!
After the pork has been coated in the spice rub and then seared in some hot oil, we cool things down with a pumpkin beer, a little brown sugar to round out all the flavors, and a few tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Any will do. Just use your fave.
All of these wonderful things cook together low and slow until the pork is incredibly tender, the spices have permeated everything, and the beer has cooked down to this incredible beer au jus situation.
Is anyone else’s mouth watering right now?
We love serving pulled pork of any kind on soft rolls with cheese, dill pickles (a must, for me), and maybe an extra drizzle of BBQ sauce or the au jus. It is absolute heaven.
These go perfectly with an icy cold glass of pumpkin beer and some salty potato chips.
It’s cozy fall food perfection! Pumpkin reimagined!
And I am here for it.
Pumpkin Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
These Pumpkin Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches are a delicious way to celebrate pumpkin in a savory way! The pork is flavored with warming spices, pumpkin beer, brown sugar, and BBQ sauce and cooked until it is succulent and fall-apart tender. It is begging to be served atop warmed rolls and topped with cheese and pickles. It is a delicious pumpkin twist on pulled pork!
- 5-lb boneless pork shoulder
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 oz pumpkin ale (or any beer you like)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Your favorite rolls or buns
- Sliced cheese
- Additional BBQ sauce
- Take the pork shoulder out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature while you mix up your spices.
- Heat your slow cooker to “SEAR” and add in the oil (If your slow cooker doesn’t have this feature, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven pot on the stove).
- In a bowl, whisk together the chili powder, cumin, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, kosher salt, and pepper.
- Pat the pork dry with paper towels and then rub the spice mixture all over, massaging it into the meat. Once the pork is completely coated in the spice rub, add it to the hot pan and sear for a couple minutes on each side, or until a deep golden crust forms.
- Once the pork has been seared on all sides, reduce the slow cooker to LOW and add in the beer, brown sugar, and BBQ sauce (alternatively, if using the stove top to brown the pork, transfer it to your slow cooker now and set it to LOW. Add in the other ingredients).
- Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or until the pork is falling apart and tender.
- Remove the pork from the drippings and increase the heat on the slow cooker to SIMMER (alternatively, transfer the drippings to a saucepan on the stove and bring to a simmer).
- Whisk together the cold water and the cornstarch until smooth. Whisk it into the drippings and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until it turns into a sauce-like consistency with a smooth and glossy appearance.
- Meanwhile, shred the pork. Add it back into the sauce once it is thickened and toss to coat. Adjust the seasoning, as needed. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.
For the Sandwiches:
Warm or toast the buns and slice in half. Top with the cheese, pulled pork, pickles, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Serve warm.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 hours (mostly inactive)
Keywords: pumpkin beer pulled pork, pumpkin pulled pork, fall spiced pulled pork recipe, pumpkin beer recipes, beer pulled pork
I made this on Halloween night and it was fantastic!