A new slow cooker recipe! This recipe idea stems from a sandwich I recently devoured at a new local restaurant. We had heard good things about the place, so we popped in one evening to check it out. After scanning the menu, I noticed that they had a french dip sandwich made with shredded pork. I was like, ooh! That’s different. So of course I ordered it, and I’m SO glad I did! It was awesome – and totally inspired me to create my version of slow cooker shredded pork french dip sandwiches at home!
Side note : this restaurant is officially the home of my FAVORITE (favorite. favorite. favorite.) fried chicken sandwich, as I discovered upon a return visit. Now I can’t wait to go back and try, like, EVERYTHING on their menu. And then attempt to recreate it all at home. 🙂
[Just for the record, I have already attempted to replicate the fried chicken sandwich. Said attempt did not go well.]
The slow cooker shredded pork french dip sandwiches, however, turned out just like I wanted! It’s another one of those quick, easy, slow cooker recipes. Set it in the morning, come home to it after work, and your delicious dinner is nearly served for you. Don’t you just LOVE those kinds of recipes?
I truly do not take advantage of them enough.
My version of french dip sandwiches starts with pork shoulder. If you want to use pork loin, please do. It’s leaner than the shoulder, but still delicious. I use it in my pork carnitas tacos, and THAT recipe will always be one of my favorites, too. Pork shoulder will give you a bit more fat, which of course directly translates to more flavor, so we went that route for this recipe!
For this recipe, it’s a very similar (and simple) process as the pork carnitas tacos. Wash and dry the pork, then season it with a few spices. Place the pork in the slow cooker, add liquids and herbs, then leave it to cook. I REALLY don’t know how it gets any easier.
If you want to send these sandwiches over the top, you’ve got to broil the provolone cheese. The bubbly, browning cheese not only makes them look incredible, but it only enhances the amazing flavor of the sandwich. Plus, I can’t get enough of cheese that looks like this. (Can you tell?) I seriously stare through the glass on the oven door and watch the cheese bubble. Is that normal? Maybe I should have kept that little gem to myself.
I’ve made this recipe half a dozen times now, and I normally use fresh garlic and onion. However, I simplified this version and just used seasonings. Because when it comes to slow cooker recipes, I do like to keep things simple. Plus, this way it offers a no-frills au jus that comes directly out of the slow cooker. So easy!
I plan on using my leftover shredded pork for fried rice soon, so be sure to check back for that one. 🙂 Oh – and you can always click here to save this to pinterest for later! Don’t forget to follow me on pinterest for all the other drool-worthy recipes I pin!
*this recipe was enhanced on 5.27.20*
slow cooker shredded pork french dip sandwiches
- 2 lbs. pork shoulder (or pork top loin for lean cut)*
- 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups beer
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. worcestershire
- 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 slices provolone cheese or a couple of extra slices if you want it really cheesy!
- 4 bakery buns use egg buns, hoagies, or your preference
- Set the slow cooker on "low". Whisk together seasonings (brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, smoked paprika, and pepper) in a small bowl.
- Rinse the pork shoulder (or loin)* in cold water, then dry off completely. Rub the combined seasonings over every surface of the pork, coating all sides. Place seasoned pork directly into slow cooker.
- Pour beer, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, and soy sauce into the slow cooker. Add bay leaf and fresh thyme sprigs, too.
- Cover and cook for 7 hours. Remove lid from slow cooker, and shred the pork. Turn heat to "keep warm", and allow the shredded pork to absorb some of the liquids for thirty minutes.
- Divide shredded pork into desired serving sizes (at least one cup each). Place each portion on a greased baking sheet (or a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat), and form the shredded pork to fit your bread (circular to fit a bun, oval if you're using a hoagie). Cover pork with provolone cheese. Broil on low for a few minutes, until cheese is browning and bubbling.
- Stir beef broth and water into the liquids in the slow cooker to make the au jus. Keep warm for serving.
- Remove from oven and use a large spatula to transfer each pile of pork directly onto the bottom buns. Serve hot with remaining liquids as au jus on the side.