Polar Bear Pulled Pork

Both of my boys are Boy Scouts. The eldest achieved the rank of Eagle Scout a mere microsecond before he aged out of scouts at age 18. My youngest is currently a Star Scout (two ranks below) and looks like he is headed up to Eagle. The Boy Scout Law states:

A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, clean, brave and reverent.

It really needs to add hungry and “a procrastinator” to really capture a scout.

One of the things my boy’s troop likes to do is camp. They camp monthly and generally during the winter months the camping is in cabins. The exception is that every January they have their Polar Bear Camp.

In order to qualify for the badge, the rules of the Polar Bear are that the air temperature must drop below 18 degrees and the scout must be outside of any shelter for a minimum of 24 hours. No cars. No cabins. No tents. Yes, 24 hours in the cold. The scouts call this fun. I think it is crazy. They stay warm through a combination of activity, sugar, a campfire and really good training and equipment (as my boys tell me a zero-degree sleeping bag is only guaranteed to keep you alive at zero degrees, not comfortable).

The first year a parent lets their scout participate (6th grade or older), is always the hardest. When my eldest was preparing for his first polar bear we looked at the forecast and the overnight temperature was expected to get to 4 degrees. The wind chill was expected to be -11. We were very concerned and as the Scoutmaster was new in his position, young (he had been a scout in the troop only six years before) and we really didn’t know him, we sought reassurance.

Me: “Tell me my son will be OK.”

Scoutmaster: “Most kids don’t have any issues.”

My Wife: “MOST?!?!?”

Me: “Will someone be checking on them throughout the night to see they are ok?”

Scoutmaster: “We make sure they are trained and there are two adults there at all times.”

My Wife: “That didn’t answer the question.”

The conversation continued like this and although we didn’t get the comfort level we were hoping for, we still let him go. Over the years the temperature has been warmer, and in a case or two colder, and those camps are generally regarded by both boys as the most fun.

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This dish would be very welcome at the camp as it is both hearty and warm!

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Pork, andouille and a few ingredients for the sauce.

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Add the rub to the pork.

Photo Dec 21, 11 07 37 AM

Get the sauce ready.

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The meat is very tender. The Meat Claws are great for getting the roast out of the slow cooker and shredding it.

Photo Dec 21, 7 07 06 PM

Great on a plate or bun.

Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

prep 0 hours 15 minutes ∙ cook 8 hours 15 minutes ∙ makes 4 servings ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source M.foodnetwork.com


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Creole or spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 3-to-4-pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 links andouille sausage
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 soft sesame buns
  • Pickle slices and potato chips, for serving


Whisk 1 1/2 cups water, the vinegar, ketchup, 1/4 cup mustard, the molasses and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in a 7-to-8-quart slow cooker.

Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar, the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over the pork, then add to the slow cooker along with the sausage. Cover and cook on low, 8 hours.

Remove the pork and sausage and set aside to cool slightly. Skim off the excess fat from the cooking liquid, then strain into a large skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes.

Shred the pork with a fork and coarsely chop the sausage. Toss the pork and sausage with enough of the reduced cooking liquid to moisten; season with salt.

Whisk the mayonnaise and the remaining 2 tablespoons mustard in a small bowl; spread on the buns. Fill with the pulled pork and pickle slices. Serve with potato chips.

Per serving: Calories 533; Fat 29 g (Saturated 9 g); Cholesterol 157 mg; Sodium 1,094 mg; Carbohydrate 23 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 43 g

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Cajun, Low Carb, Lunch3, Main Dish 3, Pork2, Recipes, Sandwich or Wrap, Slow Cooker

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

12 Comments on “Polar Bear Pulled Pork”

  1. February 11, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    I love the scouts. I was a den mother when my oldest son was of age for scouts. We lived in Florida at the time. The troop we were involved in had a badge the boys in the older groups could earn that was based on survival in the wild. When my son became age for this he and another boy were placed on a tiny little island in the Everglades and left over night. There were many little dots of “islands” around. They were allowed to have tents, they couldn’t make a camp fire at the time due to dry conditions but could have a stove. They couldn’t bring coolers so had to plan accordingly for what food they did bring. Unfortunately for my son and his partner, this didn’t work out well. His partner was from up north and thought you could put bacon in a coffee can, submerge it in the water and it would be okay. Needless to say the water in Fla was a lot warmer than north, they cooked the bacon and both got food poisoning. Didn’t get the badge till the next time.
    This pulled pork looks wonderful, I’ll be trying this soon.


  2. zaksopinion
    February 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    And did your son survive the trials?


    • February 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      Yes, with a smile on his face!


      • zaksopinion
        February 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

        Haha. I hope he enjoyed it. If he ever goes again, you should bring all the scouts some of that “polar bear dish.”


  3. February 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Seems to me you would have received more sensible answers from a real polar bear than that young scoutmaster. Glad your own polar bear cubs were alright. Looks like a yummy dish I’ll have to try around a Welsh camp fire one day! Thanks for sharing this winter warmer with us.


  4. February 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Oh wow. All the boy scout stories I read makes me wish girl scouts had been less domestic and more adventurous. Sounds like a chillingly good time!


  5. February 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Boy scout stories are the best!


  6. February 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Congrats on the Eagle Scout! And I’ve never seen sausage in a pulled pork recipe–must try, thanks!!


  7. February 12, 2014 at 2:20 am #

    As an Eagle and a son of an Eagle, I do know. As soon as I made 10 1/2 we were on our first BSA campout. Considering my birthday is in June, that meant freezing our butts off in January. My Dad was raised in St. Louis and did not know the cold of WI. We made it and I was a little smoky when I got home. Dad and I will never forget -21° that weekend.


  8. February 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    That sounds like a terrifying activity. But then, if you try to have too many non-campers lead a troop, you end up with a troop armed with sheets and gummy worms for tent camping. (Worst experience ever, the one year my camping Mom did not join the rest of the girl scouts in my youth) So I guess it’s good they really got into it full force. It’s also a mite better than long term wilderness camping, as they are at least guaranteed to be fed, so I suppose that’s something. But what do I know about cold anyways? It’s rarely gotten below 20 degrees here. Glad to hear they had fun and survived. Could be a learning experience for them to reach out to the homeless after experiencing one of their struggles.


  9. The Writing Company
    March 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    As mother of two would-be Bear Grylls British adventure hungry boy scouts – I think Pulled Pork is just the answer. More where that came from please.



  1. Take the Inmates Out for a Stroll | Rantings of an Amateur Chef - February 12, 2014

    […] yesterday’s post, I talked about the Polar Bear Camp that my boy’s Boy Scout Troop undertakes each January. […]


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