Slow Cooker Southern Pulled Pork with Coleslaw
Cajun spices and a vinegar-based coleslaw put a little zing in this sandwich that's delicious with or without barbecue sauce.
About This Dish
I've been making these pulled pork sandwiches for years. The recipe is based on a sandwich eaten in New Orleans, and I played with both the pork and the coleslaw until I got something similar. I love the fact that the pork is done in the slow cooker. It's a nontraditional way of doing Southern pork and some may say it's not truly Southern. I say it's delicious, easy to make and a crowd-pleaser. That's good enough for me.
You want to get good, solid, crusty rolls for these sandwiches so they don't get soggy quickly. Make sure to drain as much of the juice off the pork as you can before piling it on the roll; it will still be juicy and flavorful. The cool, vinegar-y coleslaw complements the Cajun seasonings and adds crunch and zing to the sandwich. For the coleslaw, feel free to use bagged, shredded cabbage or a cole slaw mix that has carrots in it if you want a shortcut.
This sandwich isn't designed to need barbecue sauce, but sometimes when I serve it, people ask for it. They enjoy the addition; I love it just as is.
The recipe can easily be doubled if your slow cooker is big enough, and I find this is a great dish to serve at a backyard summer party if I don't feel like grilling.
- Slow cooker
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- large skillet
- large bowl
- slotted serving spoon
- 2 pounds boneless pork roast
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- .5 teaspoons salt
- barbecue sauce, optional
- 10 crusty rolls for serving
For pulled pork
- Cut the roast into 2-inch chunks. Season generously with the Cajun seasoning.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet and brown the pork pieces on all sides. Remove and place in the slow cooker. Leave juices in the skillet.
- Add the onion and crushed garlic to the skillet. Cook until tender.
- Stir one cup of the water into the skillet and scrape the bottom, getting up all the bits that have stuck.
- Pour the water with the onion, garlic and water from the skillet into the slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the water to the slow cooker along with the liquid smoke.
- Cook on high for six hours, or until the meat falls apart when pierced.
- Remove the pieces from the slow cooker and pull apart or shred with two forks.
- Return the pork to the slow cooker and keep warm.
For the coleslaw
- Combine shredded cabbage, minced onion, vinegar, mayonnaise, minced garlic, sugar, pepper and salt at least one hour before serving.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the sandwiches
- Use a slotted spoon to spoon out pork onto bottom half of roll. (Add some barbecue sauce on top, if desired).
- Cover pork with coleslaw.