Slow Cook

Slow-Cooker Pork Shoulder With Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glaze

November  9, 2018
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

I've taken the uber-popular Crock-Pot Brown Sugar & Balsamic–Glazed Pork Tenderloin recipe and repurposed it with boneless pork shoulder. Fatty shoulder, more than lean tenderloin, gets effortlessly tender when slow-cooked like this. In addition to making the recipe totally hands-off, the slow cooker is an insurance policy against the meat drying out. I upped the ante on the glaze, too, adding a little mustard powder to balance out all that sweet and salty. —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: This Is Our Most-Popular Recipe of All Time...but Why? —The Editors

  • Cook time 5 hours
  • Serves 8 to 10
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder (boneless pork butt)
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
In This Recipe
  1. Put the pork shoulder, garlic, sage, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and water into a slow cooker and smoosh around with your hands. Cook on High for 4 hours.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk together the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, mustard powder, and cornstarch. Add to the slow cooker and cook for another hour.
  3. Carve pork against the grain into individual portions and serve with roasted carrots or white rice.

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Eric Kim is the Table for One columnist at Food52. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he covers food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.