By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards
Summertime is swiftly approaching and though I’m not totally sure what that means for us in the middle of a pandemic, one thing that is for sure is we can still enjoy our favorite summertime food and wine, just not really with each other!
I used to worship my Crockpot in college, but over the past couple of years I’ve forgotten how magical slow cookers can be. Since I’ve been making and eating most of my meals at home during the shelter-in-place, I’ve become very friendly with my slow cooker again. What I love most about slow cookers is the work in using them is minimal. You literally just throw a bunch of stuff in the pot and forget about it until you’re ready to eat. It’s amazing.
With summer on its way, I’m looking forward to enjoying all the foods that are beginning to come into season. I love delicious barbecue food–grilled corn, fresh watermelon, tasty salads, hamburgers, yummy squash, and everything in between. Combining my adoration for my Crockpot and my appreciation for summertime foods, I came up with a recipe for a sweet and savory slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich that pairs perfectly with our easy-drinking, summertime favorite, Shamus Patrick Red Blend.
Sweet & Savory Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork & Tangy Slaw Sandwiches
Makes about 16 sandwiches.
- 7.5-8 lbs. pork shoulder or pork butt
- Garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cup sweet Vidalia onion barbecue sauce, divided
- 1 cup orange juice, divided
- 1/2 cup mango juice
- 1 (0.7 oz.) packet dry Italian dressing seasoning
- 2 yellow onions, cut into rings
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 3 tbsp. honey, divided
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I used avocado oil mayonnaise)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup Napa cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups carrots, shredded
- 1 orange, peeled and cubed
- 4 apricots, pitted and minced
- 2 large haas avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 3 stems green onions, thinly sliced
- 16 brioche buns
- Salted butter
For the pork:
- Remove your pork shoulder or pork butt from packaging and liberally season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Put your pork meat in a large slow cooker and top with 1 cup barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup orange juice, mango juice, Italian dressing seasoning, and yellow onions. Cook in slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours. Add or subtract cooking time depending on weight of pork shoulder or pork butt.
- Once the pork has been cooked through, use two forks (one in each hand) to shred the meat. Add remaining barbecue sauce, apricot jam, 1 tablespoon honey, and mix well into meat.
For the slaw:
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, minced garlic, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons honey, and salt and pepper to taste, to create the slaw dressing.
- In a large bowl, combine red cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, oranges, mango, avocado, minced red onion, apricots, and green onion. Stir well. Pour slaw dressing over cabbage mixture and stir well. Put prepared slaw in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least an hour.
For the sandwich:
- Cut your brioche buns in half and butter the inside portion of each half. Broil on high with buttered portion facing broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until desired toasty-ness is achieved.
- Fill each bun with cooked pork, onions, and slaw.
- Enjoy with a side of fresh-cut watermelon or potato salad and a glass (or two) of our Shamus Patrick Red Blend!
I hope I’ve inspired you to dust off your slow cooker and make this yummy pairing at home! Please let us know if you do make these sandwiches and if you have any feedback. We’d love to hear from you!
Cheers and enjoy!