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Pulled Pork Sandwich with Tangy Carolina Coleslaw

  • Yields: 10 Servings
  • Cook time: 4 hours
  • Prep time: 2 ¾ hours


Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • 1 bone-in pork butt, Boston butt, or untrimmed end-cut pork shoulder roast (7 to 9 pounds)
  • 1 package plain, white hamburger buns
  • hickory wood chips soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Lexington-Style Vinegar Sauce (see below)
  • North Carolina Coleslaw (see below)
  • olive oil
North Carolina Coleslaw
  • 1 medium head green cabbage chopped
  • 1 recipe Lexington-Style Vinegar Sauce
Lexington-Style Vinegar Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes *
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ tablespoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


Mix all ingredients together and let sit at least 10 minutes or almost indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Mix sauce and cabbage together until well mixed and not quite wet. Refrigerate. Let sit 2 hours or overnight.

Soak wood chips. Prepare grill for medium-low/indirect cooking.

*Note, the longer the sauce sits, the hotter it gets since the heat from the red pepper flakes is brought out by the vinegar. Start with ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes and then add more to taste.

Remove pork from wrapper. Do not trim any excess fat off the meat, this fat will naturally baste the meat and keep it moist during the long cooking time. Brush pork with a thin coating of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a clean tray until ready to cook.

Add soaked wood chips to grill. Place chips directly on white-gray ash briquets. You will need to add charcoal every hour to maintain the heat.

Place pork in the center of the cooking grate fat-side up. Cook slowly for 4 to 5 hours at 325°F, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork registers 190°F–200°F. The meat should be very tender and falling apart. If there is a bone in the meat, it should come out smooth and clean with no meat clinging to it. Remember, there is no need to turn the meat during the entire cooking time.

Let meat rest for 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Using rubber or latex food-service gloves, pull meat from the skin, bones and fat. Set aside any crispy bits (fat) that have been completely rendered and look almost burned. Working quickly, shred the chunks of meat with two forks by crossing the forks and “pulling” the meat into small pieces from the roast. Alternately, you can chop the meat with a cleaver if you prefer. Chop the reserved crispy bits and mix into the pulled pork. While the meat is still warm, mix with enough Lexington-Style Vinegar Sauce to moisten and season the meat, about ¾ cup. The recipe can be made in advance up to this point and reheated with about ¼ cup additional sauce in a double boiler.

Serve sandwich style on a white hamburger bun and top with North Carolina Coleslaw. Serve additional sauce on the side, if desired.

The mellowness of the hickory smoke counterbalances the tanginess of the slaw and the richness of the pork.

  1. Credit: Elizabeth Karmel