Sunday, October 3, 2010

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sweet & Spicy Coleslaw

I don't know what got into me, but I had this large craving for pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw on top. I don't like BBQ sauce. I don't really like pulled pork. I'm not a fan of coleslaw. So, my DB found it really amusing that I wanted this particular recipe to be on our week's menu. Maybe it was because I was hungry. Maybe it was because it reminded me of this dish, which I loved so much. Or, maybe it was because Bridget's blog has beautiful pictures, it can take food I normally don't love and make me want to reach through my computer monitor and grab it, anticipating a large sumptuous bite. I don't know what, but what I do know is this- this was fantastic.

I made the spice rub and massaged it into the meat. I wrapped it tightly with saran wrap and let the meat "marinate" in the rub in the fridge for a few days. Then I chopped up some onions, added the pork, and poured some Coke Zero on top. Let it cook on the slow cooker for 10 hours, and voila... my dinner was made. As you can read, the prep work was very easy. Making it in a slow cooker was definitely the way to go- no mess and someone's doing all the cooking for you. The key here, my friends, is the BBQ sauce. This can make or break this recipe. So, make sure to pick your favorite BBQ sauce for this recipe. We both love Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, and tried the Sweet 'n Spicy variety- definitely our new favorite.

The coleslaw was easy and quick as well. I made it in the morning after I popped the pork into the slow cooker. I allowed the flavors to marinate all day (though you definitely don't need to let it sit for a few hours). I couldn't stop eating the cole slaw. When I first saw the recipe and saw all that mustard, I thought- "Are you serious?". Regardless, I followed the recipe and the flavors were dead on. It is really the mustard and cayenne pepper that set this slaw recipe apart from the rest. I loved the sweet & spice combination, and we loved the extra kick from the cayenne pepper. This slaw recipe made me a believer.

Here is a close-up of the Spice Rub:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sweet & Spicy Coleslaw

For the Spice Rub (For 2# pork loin)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp table salt

For the Pork Sandwiches
2# pork loin
1 large onion, diced
1 cup Coke or Rootbeer (I used Coke Zero)
18-oz bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (We used Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet 'n Spicy BBQ)
Kaiser buns, Bread, or Slimwiches

For the Sweet & Spicy Cole Slaw
1/2 bag of coleslaw mix
1/2 medium onion
1/4 cup Hellmann's mayo (not the reduced-fat kind either)
1/8 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the Spice Rub and Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1. Mix all spice rub ingredients in small bowl.
2. Massage spice rub into meat. Wrap tightly in double layer of plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (For stronger flavor, the roast can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
3. Add the chopped onions to the bottom of the slow cooker liner.
4. Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker. Add the liquid, and turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until meat is fork-tender.
5. Transfer roast to cutting board; discard liquid in slow cooker liner. “Pull” by tearing meat into thin shreds with two forks or your fingers. Discard fat.
6. Place shredded meat back in slow cooker liner; toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce, and heat on low for 30-60 minutes, until hot. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

For the Sweet & Spicy Cole Slaw
1. Fit onion through a food processor with the large-holed grater attachment and push the onions through feed tube to grate.
2. In a large bowl, toss vegetables (coleslaw mix, onions) together.
3. In another medium bowl, prepare the coleslaw dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and cayenne.
4. Toss dressing with the cabbage mixture, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

How to assemble the Sandwiches
1. Toast your buns.
2. Top it with your pulled pork.
3. Top your pork with cole slaw.
4. Add your top bun, and take a bite. Mmmmmm.

Source: Spice Rub recipe originally from The Way the Cookie Crumbles (As seen on and Branny Boils Over), Pork recipe from AllRecipes, Coleslaw recipe from The Neely's


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