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Coleslaw for BBQ Pulled Pork?

I'm making BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches tonight and want to top with coleslaw.

What style would be best - creamy or more vinegary? Any recipes to share? Thanks.

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  1. personal favourite is a nice half and half mix, you get the vinegary bite with a little mayo in there. It really will come down to what your preference is,

    Try this

    equal parts mayo and vinegar
    season to taste (salt, pepper, garlic granules etc).

    If you want a recipe for coleslaw I use just a simple

    4 parts cabbage
    1 part purple cabbage
    carrots for a bit of flavour and colour.

    1. Just a suggestion in a pinch if you don't have time to make it...KFC has the cole slaw most like we used to get in Memphis on our pork sandwiches.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Den

        Den, gently asking: when was the last time you ate KFC coleslaw? I remember it being green, white with specks of carrot and a decent sweet but slightly vinegary taste...but when I tried it again about 6 months ago, YUCK--I threw it away after the first bite after noticing how different it even looked...it was all white and pasty, total sugar glop...ack! They'd obviously changed the recipe big time...at least here in SW FL, though I'd have to think this would be a commodity that fast food places keep pretty uniform.

        1. re: Val

          Did you try the KFC cole slaw on a BBQ pork sandwich? I think context has a lot to do with it.

          1. re: Den

            No, to be honest, not in that context but I figure if it isn't good by itself it probably would not be good added to something else...I could be wrong on that.

          2. re: Val

            Funny you mentioned that. I was doing a couple of smoked pork shoulders a while back and decided to do my best to mimic the BBQ sandwiches I grew up with in eastern NC. It had been a looooong time since I so much as set a foot in a KFC, but I always remembered their slaw to be right in line with what we got in eastern NC: basically a mayo and vinegar base with a nice balance between sweet and tangy and no carrots. When I ordered the slaw at KFC a couple of years back and brought it home, ti was nothing like I remembered it. The stuff had carrost, was thickly shredded, was swimming in mayo, and waaaaaay to sweet.

        2. I can't handle regular coleslaw (I gag) so when I make my pulled pork I typically make a slaw with lots of vinegar, apples, cilantro, lime, the works... It compliments well due to the fact that my sauce is somewhat spicy.

          1. I'm not the biggest Emeril fan, but this is a real winner. The only thing different that I do is salt the cabbage in a large colander about 2-3 hours before putting it together and drain the liquid that it secretes. Here's a link to Emeril's recipe--I've made it with my pulled pork on numerous occasions and people go crazy over it:

            Well, I've been trying to get the page up, so I can post a link, but Foodtv site isn't responding. Just query Emeril pulled pork and cole slaw, and you should find it.

            1. Definitely less creamy, more vinegary. If you've every had the coleslaw at the Bear Pit in Mission Hills (KC type bbq), I think it's one of the best, and no mayo in it. But I've had pulled pork both ways, and it all depends on your particular taste.

              Also, it depends on the type of bbq you're doing - sweet & sugary like KC or more vinegary & mustardy (no tomato), like No. Carolina. And then, of course, there's Memphis, which is no sauce, but with a peppery dry rub. Love them all!

              1. I soak my slaw-ready cabbage in ice water for about an hour and then drain well. Add vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and a little sugar. Mix well. Add sweet pickle relish and some minced green onions. Sometimes add roasted sweet red peppers from the jar. Mix well and add mayo to desired consistency. The soaked cabbage won't "shrink" as much as regular cabbage, will stay crisp longer. Great for pork sandwiches.

                1. Vinegary vs creamy
                  I think its a personal preference. I like vinegary.

                  The wife makes a slaw:
                  Shred (she uses a cheese grater) 1/2 head of cabbage
                  chop 2 green onions fine
                  chop 1/2 red onion fine
                  about 2 TBL or so of fresh parsely chopped fine
                  Mix in bowl
                  for dressing
                  about 1/4C each white vinegar and veg oil (more or less on the final consistency)
                  2 TBL splenda (or sugar)
                  4 TBL vidalia onion salad dressing (we like Maple Grove Farms of Vermont)
                  S&P to taste
                  whisk dressing ingredients, stir into slaw, mix well and let meld in fridge an hour or overnite.

                  Not only good on pulled pork, but hot dogs, italian sausage sandwiches, sliced beef sandwiches, (also smash some fries on these last two sandwiches...oh boy) etc etc.

                  1. My husband (from Georgia) will only eat my cole slaw with his pulled pork -- or any other main dish. Too many slaws are too sweet, too creamy or have too many extraneous ingredients.

                    Here's what you do: Finely shred the cabbage. If I'm making a lot, I use the Cusinart 2mm slicing blade. Also finely chop some red onion. I slice it as finely as the cabbage and then chop it as well. Mix mayo and white vinegar in a 2 to 1 ratio -- e.g. 1 cup mayo to 1/2 cup vinegar. Add kosher salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper and about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. Toss with the cabbage and taste for seasonings. Make sure you taste again after the slaw has chilled since it will likely need more salt. The tartness of the slaw is a fabulous contrast to the unctuousness of the pork. The BBQ sauce should have a tang as well.

                    1. one of the few foods that doesn't include extra fat or sugar from NC is the coleslaw served with pulled pork, NC style. Chop green cabbage fine and toss with lots of vinegar, for me, preferably infused with hot peppers and black pepper. Same sauce that goes on the pork. I'm from NC and of the Eastern style.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Madrid

                        Yum - that sounds great. Will have to try that soon! When I make my own, I usually use apple cider vinegar & a pinch of sugar & salt, and a touch of mayo. But the bbq sauce I've had from NC is mustard & vinegar based, and no sweetness to it, just peppery & GOOD!

                        1. re: Phurstluv

                          Vinegary vs. creamy: For me, it depends on the sauce. If the sauce is sweeter, I go with vinegary slaw. If the sauce is vinegary, I go with a creamy slaw. Generally I like slaw with some texture to it, but for going on top of pulled pork I chop it more finely--seems to go wih the texture of the pork a bit better. [No pretentions of authenticity here: This is just the way I like it.]

                      2. Coleslaw IMHO is creamy other wise it's just 'slaw'

                        Boiled dressing recipe -

                        Beat 2 yolks (or 1 egg) with 1/4 vinegar over low heat and add a combination of dry mustard, 1-2T sugar, salt, 2T flour, paprika that have been mixed in 1/2 water. Cook until thickened and finish with some butter.

                        good stuff

                        1. Depends on your sauce, I would think. Is the pork plain or with a bbq sauce? If it's a vingary sauce, then I'd go with a creamy coleslaw. If it's plain, or a sweet bbq sauce, then I'd go the vinegar route.