With it being election week and all, I wanted to focus on all things American for today’s post. And what’s more American than wonderfully juicy pulled pork, slow-cooked for hours in Coca-Cola? Yup, you heard me—plain old classic Coke. Who knew that this would make such a great braising liquid?

I made these sliders for an election party I threw this week (alongside classic cheeseburger sliders and a meatball slider with provolone cheese, both of which were mighty tasty as well) and they did not disappoint. What I love most about this method is that you can make it all ahead of time, so on the night of the party all I had to do was assemble the sliders. It’s my cardinal rule: make-ahead = less stress. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Ingredients

Pulled Pork

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cans Coca-Cola (no diet, please!)
  • 48 ounces reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of salt, plus extra for seasoning the pork
  • Pepper
  • 1 18-ounce bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce
  • Butter (if you’d like)
  • 24 mini buns (I used Sara Lee Dinner Rolls)
  • Coleslaw

    • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup light mayo
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon dry yellow mustard (if you don’t have this on hand, just omit it)
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 16 ounces coleslaw mix
    • Directions

      Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. In a large Dutch oven pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper, then brown the meat in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add the Coke, 2 tablespoons of salt, and enough chicken stock to cover the pork fully. The pot I used was quite large, so I ended up using all 48 ounces of stock, but you may not need this much.

      Put a lid on the pot and place into the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 325 degrees, and put the timer on for 3-4 hours, depending on how long you’ll be around. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat will be—3 hours will still taste amazing, but if you have time to cook the pork for 4 hours you should go for it.

      While the pork is cooking, you can make the coleslaw. Mix together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss together with the coleslaw mix, then cover and store in the fridge.

      Once the pork has cooked for 3-4 hours, let cool, then shred. I used my hands, but two forks works just as well. Mix in the bottle of barbeque sauce, then refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble your sliders.

      When you’re ready to eat, reheat the pork on the stove or in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. Separate the buns in two, spread the bottom with a little butter if you’d like, then top with a scoop of pulled pork and a scoop of coleslaw.

      Watch as your friends devour messily.

      Photos courtesy of Niki Lowry.