Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork with Southwestern Cole Slaw

I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times, but I made it most recently several weeks ago for my brother’s birthday. This sandwich was originally two separate recipes in Food Network magazine, but some genius at Food Network thought to combine the two recipes for the magazine’s cover photo.  I’m so glad they did because the flavors in the pork and the cole slaw go together PERFECTLY!  Greg and I don’t normally care for cole slaw, but this is NOT your typical cole slaw. The slaw is made with corn and poblano pepper in addition to the cabbage, and it’s dressed with a creamy avocado dressing. The creamy, crunchy, slightly tangy cole slaw complements the moist, spicy pork so well that I can’t imagine eating one without the other!

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The recipe has you cook the pork shoulder in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours. I was pressed for time when I made this for my brother’s birthday though, so I decided to try cooking it on high for 4 hours. I wouldn’t recommend it. The pork was fully cooked and the flavor was fine, but the fat didn’t render out the way it would have if it was cooked low and slow, and the meat didn’t get as tender and just fall apart.

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This was the first picture I ever took of my food in front of a professional picture of the same dish. Clearly it was the beginning of a new habit.

Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork with Southwestern Cole Slaw

From: Food Network Magazine, June 2013
Serves 8

For the Pulled Pork:
½ c. apple cider vinegar
1/3 c. ketchup
¼ c. Creole or spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 3-4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
2 links Andouille sausage
8 buns, for serving

For the Cole Slaw:
1 avocado
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. water
3 c. shredded red cabbage
3 c. shredded green cabbage
1 c. corn, fresh or frozen
1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, chopped

  1. Whisk 1 ½ c. water, the vinegar, ketchup, mustard, molasses and 1 Tbsp brown sugar in a 7-8 quart slow cooker.
  2. Combine the remaining 1 Tbsp brown sugar, the paprika, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over the pork, then add to the slow cooker along with the sausage. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the cole slaw. Puree the avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, water and ½ tsp salt in a blender or food processor. Toss with the cabbage, corn, poblano and scallions.
  4. After 8 hours in the slow cooker remove the pork and sausage and set aside to cool slightly. Skim off the excess fat from the cooking liquid. Then strain the cooking liquid into a large skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes.
  5. Shred the pork with a fork and coarsely chop the sausage. Toss the pork and sausage with enough of the reduced cooking liquid to moisten.
  6. Assemble the sandwiches. Remove some bread from the middle of both the top and bottom of the bun to make room for the fillings. Add pulled pork to the bottom bun and top with some cole slaw and the top bun.
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