The following recipe is so easy, it seems almost fraudulent to present it here as something original. But it's just too good to keep secret. If you love pulled pork or brisket that's been slow-cooked by a genuine barbecue joint, you'll be amazed at how close you can get with a slow cooker. The final flavor will be determined largely by the brand of barbecue sauce you select, so use a fresh bottle and consider one that has a touch of smoke flavor.
- Carefully trim the meat of visible fat and season it with salt and pepper. Place the onions in the bottom of the crock, then lay the meat on top of them. (You may have to cut the brisket in half and stack the pieces.)
- Pour about a half cup of the barbecue sauce over the meat and flip it around to coat it. Cover and let it cook for 9 to 10 hours on low.
- Carefully remove the cooked meat from the crock and pour out the fat and juices, retaining the onions. For the pork: Using two forks, shred the meat into stringy chunks, discarding any fat.
- Put the meat back in the crock, mix in the remaining barbecue sauce, and let it cook another half hour or so. (You could eat it now, but it's better if it soaks awhile.)
- For the beef: Slice the brisket across the grain and place it on a platter, discarding any fat. Cover it with sauce and let it sit for 10 minutes or so if you can bear it! Serve on soft rolls, onions on the side.