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Lemon-Caraway BBQ Pork

Lemon-Caraway BBQ Pork
April Fulton for NPR /

This recipe is proof that caraway seeds are not just for rye bread; they're also a tasty accompaniment to pork, as often showcased in Eastern European braises. The tangy seeds, combined with the brightness of lemon and vinegar in a simple-to-make, North Carolina-inspired barbecue sauce, may make you rethink that bottled stuff in the fridge. It's not necessary to brown the pork before cooking in this case because there is so much flavor in the sauce, but you certainly can. I like to serve this dish with cornbread and collard greens.

Serves 12 to 14

6 to 7 pounds pork shoulder, bone-in

2 1/2 cups ketchup

6 tablespoons chili sauce

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Zest of 1 1/2 lemons

6 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 tablespoon chili powder

6 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 cloves garlic, pressed

3 medium yellow onions, sliced

In a medium mixing bowl, combine ketchup, chili sauce, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, caraway seeds, chili powder, brown sugar and garlic. Set aside.

Place onions in bottom of slow cooker. Trim pork shoulder of some of the fat and arrange over the onions as evenly as possible. Pour ketchup mixture over top and cook on low for about 8 hours or until meat pulls easily off the bone with a fork and internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Let cool a little and shred the meat by pulling it with two forks in opposite directions on a cutting board. Put the meat back in the sauce and stir.

If making a day ahead, cool to room temperature before covering pot with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, scoop the hardened fat particles off the top of the cold meat and reheat in a 300 degree oven until hot — about 30 minutes.

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