Summer dinner parties are, in my opinion, one of the best ways to spend a summer evening. Good friends and good food are a recipe for a guaranteed good time. I recently hosted a small backyard get-together to celebrate my [
25th 28th, ok, 31st!] birthday and served my guests these tender BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, topped with sweet and tangy cabbage slaw and they were a hit! Even more, they were pretty easy to make.
To make the pork I used my mom’s tried and true recipe and first cooked it slowly in the oven, shredded it, then transferred it to a crock pot to let it soak up that BBQ sauce juiciness. I went with the 1/2 pound per guest rule and expected to feed about ten people, so my pork shoulder was 4.5 to 5 pounds. That was plenty for each guest to have at least two slightly-bigger-than-sliders sandwiches. The super simple way to do this is to buy the BBQ sauce, but if you are picky about your sauce, you could make it from scratch.
This slaw recipe also gave me more than enough, but I love leftovers so I went ahead and made the whole bag of slaw anyway. My grocery store didn’t carry the coleslaw mix that had green AND red cabbage, so I went with two bags of slaw – one regular-sized bag with the green/white cabbage and carrots, plus a smaller bag with just red cabbage – and mixed the two together.
I suggest serving the pork and slaw in between two buns, but they’re both delicious as-is!
BBQ Pulled Pork
4-5 lb. bone-in pork shoulder
2-18 oz. bottles BBQ sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 c brown sugar
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
1. In a small bowl combine cumin, paprika, dry mustard, and brown sugar. Mix together well.
2. Rinse pork shoulder under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the pork with the spice/brown sugar mixture, making sure it’s covered well.
3. Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray and fill it with a half-inch of water or broth. Set the pork shoulder in the center of the roasting pan and cover with a well-fitting lid.
4. Bake for 2-3 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut into the thickest part of the meat and check to see if juices run clear. If the pork is not done, put it back in the oven and check on it every 15-20 minutes.
5. When done, let cool slightly, keeping the juices in the pan. Once cool, begin shredding the pork with two forks, placing the shredded meat in the crock pot liner or a large bowl. Stir in the BBQ sauce and mix well. Cover and keep in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.
6. About 2 hours before serving, take the crock pot liner out of the fridge and let sit for about a half hour. You don’t want to heat up a cold liner. Place liner in crock pot and set on high for about an hour or until it reaches the desired temp.
1/2 c reduced fat mayonnaise (I used Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil)
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 large bag coleslaw mix
Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl. Add slaw mix and toss well.