Smoky Hand-Pulled Pork on a Bun with Cabbage-Carrot Coleslaw

Sunday February 5, 2017

Slow cooker cooking has made pulled pork a wildly popular household specialty all over America, not just in the South, where it is a beloved local specialty in North Carolina. Pulled pork is a descriptive way to say shredded, since the rough texture of the meat holds on to the sauce better than if meat is sliced. Be sure to put the meat on to cook first thing in the morning if you plan to serve it in the evening. The original recipe came from a now forgotten slow cooker cook off competition and it came with the following recommendations: “This is a great dish for weekends in the country, Friday night dinners, or evenings when you have a house full of teenagers who can not get enough of the rich, smoky sauce.” Enough said.

Recommended Size: Large Round or Oval

Machine Setting and Cook Time: Low Heat: 9 to 10 hours

Serves 6 to 8


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium white onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup tomato-based chili sauce

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat, about 3- pounds

Cabbage-Carrot Slaw

6 cups finely shredded green cabbage (about two-thirds of a 2-pound cabbage)

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Sea salt

8 fresh Kaiser rolls or onion buns, or other soft sandwich rolls, halved and warmed


In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and pepper and cook 1 minute. Add the chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke; bring to a boil. Spray the crock with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pork in the crock and pour the sauce over.

Cover and cook on LOW for 9 to 10 hours (or on HIGH for 5 to 5 1/2 hours), until pork is falling apart tender.

While meat is cooking, make the cabbage slaw. In a large bowl, place the cabbage, carrot, and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. Add to the cabbage and toss to lightly coat. Season with salt, cover, and refrigerate.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and pull the meat apart in shreds with two forks. Return to the sauce and place on KEEP WARM. When ready to serve, place the two section of warm bun on a plate and spoon shredded pork with plenty of sauce over warm buns with some cabbage slaw on top or on the side.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. (c) 2005/2017, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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