With August approaching and temperatures rising, I’m getting use out of my crock pot. Sound like a strange concept? Allow me to explain.
The galley kitchen in my apartment heats up quickly when I’m using the oven. My solution to this issue is simple. Get porky perfection simmering away on the counter top! This results in my kitchen staying cool, my apartment permeating with sweet pork aromas, and summer on a bun awaiting my taste buds.
My pulled pork starts with a luxurious sauce. A great balance of smoke, sweetness, and spice … in harmony with a slight tang from the apple cider vinegar. Oh, how the pork cooks away in this smokey-sweet-spicy-tangy luxury. The sauce seasons the pork. The pork infuses the sauce with its juices. After cooking time is up, the pork is falling off the bone and liquid gold is begging to be reduced and tossed with the finished product.
The beautiful color and crunch in this sandwich comes from delicious coleslaw. My advice for the slaw is to shred the cabbage and carrot yourself. Don’t mess with the pre shredded bag of coleslaw from the grocery store. This little extra bit of effort put into the slaw makes an incredible difference. Creamy but not overly saturated, tangy, and very fresh. This slaw marries beautifully and deliciously with the pulled pork.
Look at these pictures. You know you’re ready for summertime crock potting.
Pulled Pork Ingredients:
- 1 onion, halved and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (add more if you want it spicy)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 pound bone-in pork shoulder, cut into pieces to fit into your crock pot
- 20 slider buns
Buttermilk Coleslaw Ingredients:
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (I used a mandolin)
- 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded (I used a mandolin)
- 3 carrots, peeled and grated
- 5 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp celery seed
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, stir together onion, garlic, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat and add oil. Season the pork with the salt and pepper. Add pork to the skillet and sear for 4-5 minutes on each side until a nice crust forms.
- Add pork to the slow cooker, turning to coat completely with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours, or until pork is very tender.
- Remove the pork from the crock pot and transfer to a cutting board. Remove and discard the bone and fat cap. Using 2 forks, shred the pork (I like to leave some small chunks to add a bit of texture to the final product). Remove and discard any additional fat you discover while shredding.
- Transfer the sauce and cooking liquid from the crock pot to a medium stovetop pot. Allow the sauce to settle for a minute and skim any grease off the top of the sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat and allow sauce to reduce by half. This should take about 20 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, skim any additional grease off the top. Once sauce is fully reduced and skimmed, add the meat to the pot and toss to allow the pork to soak up the yummy sauce. At this point, the pork is ready to serve. You could also transfer the pulled pork back to the crock pot on the “keep warm” setting until you are ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, prepare the buttermilk coleslaw. Combine green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot and spring onion in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, garlic, apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper in a separate bowl; mix well. Toss the coleslaw mixture with the dressing. (Note: I did not use all of the dressing; add only as much as you need to lightly coat the coleslaw.) You can prepare the coleslaw mixture and dressing several hours before serving the sliders. Keep refrigerated separately. Coleslaw should be tossed with the dressing just before serving.
- Build your slider: Toast your buns, top with a generous amount of pulled pork and a scoop of coleslaw. Hot sauce, extra bbq sauce, or pickles are optional.
Servings: 10 (Serving Size: 2 sliders)
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