Recipe: All-Purpose Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder {and a Melissa d’Arabian Cookbook Giveaway!}

by Cate on August 14, 2012

Slow Cooker All Purpose Pork Shoulder
Is that not the most gorgeous picture ever? It makes me want to make the recipe all over again.

Melissa d’Arabian first burst onto the public food scene when she competed on The Next Food Network Star a few years ago. I watched as she held her own against other, sometimes more flamboyant and edgy, competitors, staying the course. She went on to win the competition, earning herself her very own spot on the Food Network line-up.

Her point of view? Ten dollar dinners.

A movement I can get behind.

Especially when it’s a well-balanced meal.

That’s kid-friendly.

And features recipes that don’t have you hunting all over heck and creation to find ingredients you’ll likely never use again.


She is a stay-at-home mom of four, who has lived in Paris. As such, her menus have many different cultural influences, and aren’t just relegated to plain, ordinary fare. She learned her frugal tendencies from her mom, who was a single mother putting herself through college and medical school, and those lessons have clearly served her well.

So when I heard that she was coming out with her first cookbook, I was all in. After looking through it, the recipe for the pork shoulder caught my eye.

And the fact that it was a slow cooker recipe, when it was still plenty hot outside, was a bonus.

Pork shoulder, white wine, onion, garlic, salt, pepper.

People, it doesn’t get easier.

It smelled heavenly a few hours in.

And once done, it shredded up in nothing flat.

It was moist, flavorful, and kid-friendly.

Which is my favorite kind of recipe.

One of the features I like best about the cookbook is that Melissa gives you suggestions for how to use the recipe. The page following the pork shoulder recipe features 10 different ways to use the meat, everything from chili and tacos to hash, turnovers, and tamale pie.

Because who wants to eat the same thing for days on end?

The cookbook includes recipes for Salmon Cakes, Four Step Chicken Piccata, Kale and Crispy Bacon Salad, Roasted Garlic and White Bean Chili, Zucchini Carpaccio, Chicken Marengo, Bulgur-Stuffed Veggies, Fennel-Onion Quiche, Provencal Tomatoes, Cheesy Popovers, Double Chocolate Pound Cake, Homemade Yogurt, and much  more.

And now how about a chance to win her cookbook?  It’s over 350 pages of colorful photographs, easy and delicious recipes, and as Bobby Flay said, “Melissa’s real-life experience as a wife and mom makes her the perfect person to help all of us get dinner to the table.”

Amen to that.

  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post and tell me your favorite chef/cook.
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  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Friday, August 17th at 11pm EST
  • WINNER ANNOUNCED: In this upcoming weekend’s Weekend Photos in Review post
  • FINE PRINT: The winner will be selected using

All-Purpose Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder
Recipe courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian

  • 1 3-to-4-pound boneless pork shoulder (or 4 1/2-pound bone-in pork shoulder)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Rinse the pork, place on a cutting board, pat dry with paper towels and rub in the salt and pepper. Set the pork in the bowl of a slow cooker, scatter the onion over the pork, sprinkle in the garlic and add the wine. Cook until the meat easily pulls apart with a fork, about 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Turn off the slow cooker and transfer the pork to a platter. Use two forks to shred the meat.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can braise the pork shoulder in a 325 degrees F oven for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.

I served ours shredded on whole wheat buns, with sliced red onion, avocado, and a bit of Dijon mustard.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsy August 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I would say Ina Garten in my favorite — although she sure loves her butter etc (I lighten her recipes pretty often). I don’t think I’ve ever had a miss with her recipes. Your dinner sounds great.


Tyanne August 14, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Hmmm, it’s hard to pick just one favorite, I think I would have to say Paula Deen. That Pork Shoulder looks so good, may have to give it a try soon. I really like that the cookbook gives other meals to use the meat in, it does get boring on the third day of trying to use leftovers, LOL.


Patrizia August 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Now this is something I can get behind too! 2 kids, a full time job and a tight budget would make this the perfect cookbook for our family!! I’m a big fan of Giada DiLaurentis…now off to share on FB, Tweet & Pin :-)


Suzi August 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Lidia Bastianich..her food calls to me..reminds me very much of the food I grew up with.


Jamelyn August 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I’m not a big pork eater but this recipe looks quite yummy and very economical! I’m a single mother also and a reformed fast food junkie so I’m looking for good, kid friendly, versatile recipes!

My favorite food network chef to watch is Giada! I love her recipes and especially the sound of the crunch when she chops her veggies! LOL


Ashley August 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm

This looks great!! I have a hard time picking favorites, but I’ll go with Michael Symon since I actually ate at one of his restaurants. Yumm!
Ashley recently posted..Big Flavors Turns 6! Quinoa Mexi 6 Layer Casserole


jenni August 15, 2012 at 12:51 am

I adore Paula Deen.


Joanne August 15, 2012 at 6:32 am

I never really know how to feel about Melissa but at least she stuck to her guns and didn’t let the Food Network change the direction she wanted to take her show in! She seems like a really strong woman and you have to admire that!
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Cranberry Beans with Artichokes, Zucchini, and Pasta


Debbie August 15, 2012 at 6:37 am

My favorite cook is Mary Ann Esposito. She hosts a show on PBS (haven’t seen it on lately) called Ciao Italia and has published several Italian cookbooks! I like Melissa too. I saw her on the food competition and was so happy that she won.
Debbie recently posted..Vanilla Lime Pound Cake


paula August 15, 2012 at 7:55 am

I can’t think of one favorite right now. I love Nigella Lawson’s books – they have substance and are a bit exotic (to me) yet the recipes are still within my reach. I will stop and watch Melissa whenever I come by her show – she always makes something good. Rachael Ray’s recipes are good (even though her portions are ridiculous). I love Bobby Flay for his personality (when he first came around I couldn’t stand him).
paula recently posted..Ah, finally! Chorizo Carbonara


Mary August 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

Ina Garten is always awinner with good food.


gail August 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

julia child


Ramona August 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

I like Melissa, enjoyed watching her on food network star.

My favorite, hard to say….I like Paula, Giada and Guy.


Teresa K August 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

Ina is a favorite of mine but I enjoy most of the food network shows.


Mary Lou August 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Waaaaay too many great Chefs to choose from but I’d have to say
Ina Garten is my favorite !!! Simple and elegant……


Christy Rose August 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I love Ina Garten’s recipes. I am never disappointed with her. I also like Melissa!


SaraMarie August 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I like to watch Alton Brown; I love his scientific approach. I’m also quite entertained by Gordan Ramsey. And I could listen to and watch Curtis Stone cook all day with googley eyes.


Kris #40 August 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Pioneer Woman – although I watch so many on food network


Heather P August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I love Ina Garten and Pioneer Woman.


Heather P August 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm



Meg August 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I have to give my favorite chef award to Julia Child! My boyfriend and I have been watching old episodes of “Baking With Julia” for years, and she’s just so kooky and lovable.

I follow you on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest — um, basically everywhere. Ha!
Meg recently posted..Sunflower fields forever


Sheri August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I think my mom is my favorite cook; she introduced me to what would become my favorite meals of all time so I think it’s fair to say that her cooking has influenced me hugely! I have 2 kids so a cooking philosophy like Melissa’s sounds just perfect. I’d love to try her recipes!
Sheri recently posted..Deconstructed Fish Tacos LunchBots Quad Bento


Laura August 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I am lucky to have met Paula….before and after her success and she is just as lovely!
Laura recently posted..Fill In The Blank Friday….


Laura August 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm


Only Prettier?@OnlyPrettier1

Recipe: All-Purpose Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder {and a Melissa d’Arabian Cookbook Giveaway!} –


5:53 PM – 15 Aug 12via
Laura recently posted..Fill In The Blank Friday….


Laura August 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Laura recently posted..Fill In The Blank Friday….


Vickie R. August 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I’d have to say my mom is my favorite cook, she taught me so much while always making cooking dinner look easy.


Stacie August 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

besides my friend, Maria, who attended cooking school near by my house…I really like to watch Guy F.
Stacie recently posted..SJ Giants hot hot hot


Stacie August 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I follow you on pinterest!
Stacie recently posted..SJ Giants hot hot hot


Karen W. August 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm

There are a lot of food chefs on TV that I do like, but if I had to pick a favorite cook, it would hands down be my grandmother. She was my inspiration and many treasured recipes and memories come from her.


Lorie R, August 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

Ever since I was a little girl I loved The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr. During the summer, my sister and I used to act out all his cooking shows when we made our lunch. Even down to pulling someone (each other.. haha)out of the audience to sample the food! I still have the shows on tape. He really makes me laugh now that I understand more of the adult humor! I always thought the meals were so exotic. I certainly got interested in cooking from this early T.V. chef!


Staci A August 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love watching Gordon Ramsey!


Jeff Moyher December 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

This recipe is perfect! I was looking to offload some of the cooking my wife does for our very active family of 5. She is a great cook in her own right but also has a full time job. Our family loves pulled pork and barbecue ribs, especially my oldest daughter and I. I plan to cook the Pork Shoulder this weekend and surprise them all. I went online to find this gem of a posting and cant wait to try it out this weekend. I was excited to see Melissa has a cookbook of simple meals for the family as that will be perfect to entice me to do more cooking. I would love to win the book :)
My favorite chef right now is Marc Vetri who has 4 amazing restaraunts in the Philadelphia area. Vetri, Osteria, Amis and his new one Alla Spina. He continues to come up with incredible dishes and does a great job pairing wine or beer with the meals.


Michelle Williams April 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I just made this and wow is it fantastic! It tasted so good as is and was falling apart, took no effort to shred! We added BBQ sauce tonight and will use the other for shredded pork tacos later this week! The dogs were surrounding us as we shredded the meat. They had a little for dinner too:-)


Cate April 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm

So glad you loved it – and thanks for coming back and sharing!


Cheryl jordan July 29, 2019 at 5:14 pm

My fav chef is Ina garten emeril and you.


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