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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork and the Best Coleslaw Recipe Ever!

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Our New York City kitchen is only slightly larger than a bread box but certainly not large enough to store a slow cooker.  So I keep ours in Bridgehampton. Not that I am a particular fan of the slow cooker.  The idea of having to brown meat in one pan and make sauce in another seems to defeat the purpose of the slow cooker.  Surely its charm is in the one pot approach to cooking.  That one pot, sitting all day, cooking away, waiting for you to come home to a fully cooked dinner, has its allure.  Dirtying pots and pans and browning meat before heading out for the day, does not.   But on a weekend, you can load the slow cooker anytime and await the results.  With summer barbecue season about to begin, here’s a recipe that’s a great addition to any summer gathering.  You can make it up in advance and you don’t even have to fire up the grill.  Just power up the slow cooker.

I did a quick search and not surprisingly, Williams-Sonoma, who sell all manner of slow cookers, also provided a recipe for slow-cooker pulled pork.   It doesn’t use the supermarket’s packet of seasonings, which are suspect in that they are likely loaded with preservatives and salt.  Instead, I added a recipe for a spice rub and used W-S’ recipe for the sauce to bury the pork in.  The ingredients are so everyday, they’re likely all in your kitchen right now.  But what pulled pork sandwich can’t benefit from the addition of cole slaw?  In fact, Williams-Sonoma’s serving suggestion recommended the side dish but without a recipe.  So off I went again and searched “Best ColeSlaw recipe”.   

The one that showed up was without question as good, if not better, than any coleslaw I have ever tasted.  Cole Slaw comes from the Dutch term koolsla meaning cabbage salad (kool for cabbage and sla a Dutch abbreviation for salade.).  The Dutch brought their recipe for chilled cabbage salad to New Amsterdam, whose name was later changed to New York. “Kool” was Anglicized into cole.  The Best Coleslaw recipe in the world comes to us not from the Dutch but from one J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.  Mr. Lopez Alt is an MIT graduate who has a wildly popular blog called Food Lab where he spends a lot of time educating his readers on technique.  When he turned his attention to coleslaw, he discovered that coleslaw is best when it has ‘sweated’ for a 5 minute period in both sugar and salt.  He also uses a mandolin to slice his cabbage and the red onion in his recipe.  And he uses a box grater for the carrots.  Then the dressing is added and voilà, wonderful tangy, creamy coleslaw that is…well, the best coleslaw ever.  Here are the recipes, starting with the pulled pork followed by the coleslaw. 

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