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Barbecue Pulled Pork with Asian Apple Slaw

Cook Time:
3 hrs
Prep Time:
10 mins


Asian Apple Slaw (makes about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 sweet/tart apples like Honeycrisp, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (4-pound) boneless pork butt, cut into 6 equal pieces
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2/3 cup red wine
  • 1⅔ cups store-bought barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 1/3-2/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • brioche rolls, to serve
  • Asian Apple Slaw, to serve (recipe above)

Chef notes

Pulled pork with barbecue sauce isn't just a dish — it's a technique. Browning and braising are core techniques that should be applied to tougher cuts of meat to make them fancy and tender.

The slaw is a flavorful, healthy, comforting and has the Asian flavors we all love. It's as tangy as it is creamy, with the apples adding a natural sweetness. It pairs perfectly with the pulled pork.

Technique tip: Cut the pork into smaller pieces so it cooks faster.

Swap option: Use red cabbage instead of green for the slaw or your favorite store-bought coleslaw.


For the Asian apple slaw:


In a large-sized bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce until well-combined.


Drizzle in the rice vinegar, whisking constantly, until well-combined.


Add the carrots, cabbage, apples and sesame seeds and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Drain excess dressing before serving.

For the pulled pork:


Preheat the oven to 325 F and remove any upper racks to accommodate a large Dutch oven.


In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and coriander until well-combined.


Lay the pork onto a sheet pan and sprinkle the seasoning evenly over the pork, making sure to coat all sides of each piece generously.


Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers.


Cook the pork, in batches, adding additional oil as needed, until well browned on all sides, for 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to a plate.


Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes.


Add the red wine, and stir, scraping down the sides and bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, cooking until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.


Stir in 2/3 cup of the barbecue sauce and the cola.


Return the pork to the pot, nestling it into the sauce.


Add enough chicken stock to come up to just above the halfway point of the pork.


Place the lid on the Dutch oven, transfer to the oven and cook until the pork is fork tender, for 3 to 3½ hours.


Carefully transfer the pork to a large bowl, leaving the braising liquid in the Dutch oven.


When cool enough to handle, shred the pork with two forks.


Add the remaining 1 cup of the barbecue sauce to the Dutch oven and stir to combine.


Return the shredded pork to the pot and toss to combine.


Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if necessary.


Serve on a brioche buns with Asian Apple Slaw.