Slow Cooker Honey-Balsamic Pulled Pork with Asian Slaw
When I was growing up, New Year’s Eve was never a huge “going out” holiday for my parents. They always spent it with us, sometimes at home, at my grandma’s, or, some years, with friends of theirs and their kids. Around the time I was 11, my parents started throwing annual New Year’s Eve parties at our house, which included their friends, their friends’ kids, some family, etc. Most years there were upwards of 50 people and the kids would play in the basement while the adults were upstairs. We loved it!
My mom always had a huge spread of appetizers and snacks for folks to nibble on all night, and then once the clock struck midnight and everyone cheered with glasses of champagne and hugs and kisses, she would roll out the real food. Tucked away in her laundry room was her electric roaster, which had been slow roasting a pork loin and sauerkraut for the better part of the day. My mom always served at midnight as the first meal of the new year, since pork and sauerkraut are supposed to be good luck.
The thing is… I’ve never, ever been a fan of pork roasts or sauerkraut. This year, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I invited our parents and siblings over on New Year’s Day to relax, watch the Winter Classic, and, of course, eat. I made pork and sauerkraut, but I made it my way.
While I’ve never taken to a pork roast of any kind, I love pulled pork, so I decided that’s what I would make for New Year’s Day. I ran across the recipe over the holidays and could not stop thinking about it! It took me all of five seconds to finalize my menu, and about five minutes total to get this prepped and into the crock-pot in the morning. It smelled amazing as it cooked was even better once shredded and doused in sauce.
I substituted this Asian slaw for sauerkraut, because, it’s still cabbage! I think that counts! The combination of the flavors was tremendous, and the color of the slaw was so incredibly vibrant. When something is delicious and pretty, it gets bonus points. The slaw was such a hit, that after the leftovers were gone, my Chief Culinary Consultant asked if I could make another batch for him to put on his regular ol’ turkey and cheese sandwiches. Now that is some good slaw!
You definitely do not need a special occasion to make this recipe; it’s a perfect weeknight dinner that can do its thing in the slow cooker all day, and it would make a great game-day menu option if you’re pondering what to make for the Super Bowl.
While I generally eschew superstitious things relating to good luck or bad luck, I love embracing tradition. Pork and sauerkraut has been a New Year’s tradition in our family for as long as I can remember, so I’m happy to keep the tradition going, even if I put my own twist on it.
One year ago: Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies
Two years ago: Minestrone Soup and Chubby Hubby Rice Krispies Treats
Three years ago: Maple-Bacon Kettle Popcorn
Six years ago: Homemade Gnocchi
Balsamic-Honey Pulled Pork with Asian Slaw
For the Pulled Pork
- 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg) boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
- ½ cup (120 ml) chicken stock
- ½ cup (169.5 ml) honey
- ½ cup (127.5 ml) balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup (68.75 ml) hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup (85 g) blackberry jam
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup (80 g) small diced yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the Asian Slaw:
- ½ pound (226.8 g) purple cabbage, cored and finely shredded
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (25 g) thinly sliced green onions, green parts only
- 1. Prepare the Pulled Pork: Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, honey, balsamic vinegar, hoisin sauce, blackberry jam, garlic, and onion, and pour the sauce evenly over the pork shoulder. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, or until the pork registers 165 degrees F on a thermometer, or is no longer pink.
- 2. Prepare the Asian Slaw: Meanwhile, place the cabbage in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, vegetable oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar, then drizzle over the cabbage. Toss to combine, making sure all of the cabbage is evenly moistened. Gently stir in the green onions. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- 3. Finish the Pulled Pork: When the pork is done cooking, use tongs to remove it from the slow cooker and place on a large plate. Using two forks, shred the pork.
- 4. Pour the reserved cooking liquid from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch, then slowly whisk the mixture into the reserved cooking liquid. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce boils and thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- 5. Return the pulled pork to the slow cooker and pour the thickened sauce over top, tossing to combine. Keep the slow cooker on low to keep the meat warm as sandwiches are assembled. The pulled pork and Asian slaw should be stored in separate air tight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Im so bad at remembering to start the slow cooker in time. So i just put this in the oven. The smells are amazing!
Made this tonight for dinner. The smell cooking was amazing! I had a problem with the sauce being too thin (broth consistency). I’m thinking it’s because I used 1 c chopped onion instead of 1/2 c. That’s just what I had chopped. I suggest to people to not make this mistake, as I needed a full 3 T of cornstarch (triple the amount) to even get the sauce thick enough to coat a spoon, in spite of boiling it for 15 minutes.
The sauce is definitely sweeter than my natural tastes want, but combined with the Asian Slaw, it made a FANTASTIC sandwich. I want to make this for a big family get together. I couldn’t find blackberry jam, so I made it with triple berry.
Have tried this several times and it’s delicious! For my personal taste, the pork, no matter how well trimmed, can be fatty. So I’ve started making it with beef stew cubes! Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8. The slaw is delicious, and I don’t usually like slaw/cabbage…the citrus breaks it down well, just make sure to shred really fine.
Do you use fresh lime juice for the slaw dressing?
Hi Lynne, You can use fresh or bottled, either will work.
I usually brown a pork roast before putting it in the slow cooker but noticed you didnt mention doing that. Is that not necessary for this recipe?
Hi Nathan, It is not necessary.
Sounds really delicious. I have several pulled pork recipes, but this one sounds special. Tank you.
Has anyone added red pepper flakes to give it a little kick?
Is there a substation I could use for the hoisin sauce-this i do not have, but really want to make this tomorrow???
*substitution*, not substation lol darn auto correct!!!!
Hi Sheena, Hoisin sauce has a pretty specific flavor; I would probably run out and pick up a jar.
I invested in my first ever slow cooker and thought I’d try this recipe. I followed the instructions and the pork came out beautifully, it fell apart as I was removing it from the slow cooker, very tender. Although this recipe is fantastic it was a bit sweet for my family, but thank you for giving me the confidence to try lots more slow cooker recipes :)
i have a question about this recipe. I am going to attempt to make it this weekend but i have to get at least double the size of the pork shoulder in which you have given on this recipe. I was wondering if i get a 6-8 pound pork shoulder how long will i have to cook if for and will i have to double the rest of the ingredients? thanks for your help.
Hi Melissa, I have actually doubled this. I would double the other ingredients, but I didn’t need to cook it any longer than 8 hours (I used a thermometer to make sure it was cooked the whole way through).
These sandwiches sound amazing!
I’m making this right now, but in the oven rather than in a slow-cooker. The smell from the kitchen is amazing!
I can’t stand sauerkraut, not even the smell of it, but this … I’m now craving this. Love cabbage and pulled pork.
I couldn’t wait for this either! I made it after you first posted about it on Weekend Dish! Loved it! Now I’m craving it again…….
Made this a project. Purchased the cut of pork at Whole Foods. Better to have us instruct butcher to trim fat. Someone doing that on their own needs a sharp knife and a steady hand. Even so there was a lot of fat in the sauce. The sauce was a bit sweet for our taste. Needed more tang. The sauce was put into a degreaser pitcher before it was cooked down . Poured off at least 1/2 cup fat.
Coldslaw is the norm for topping in these parts. The Asian slaw is a good topper.
I loved your recipe so much that I am making the honey-balsamic pork roast right now! We are getting 6-10 inches of snow today in Maryland, so I thought the slow cooker idea was great. My favorite slow cooker recipe is Chipotle Bean and Ham soup but this recipe may change that! Thank you so much for your wonderful website, insight and cooking ideas.
Would love to have Cathi’s recipe for Chipole Bean and Ham soup, sounds yummy!!
PS: Loving the photos of Joseph, what a doll!
I love that vibrant purple cabbage! Brilliant!
I think YOUR way sounds delicious! Love, love, love pulled pork! Tragically, pulled pork and chicken are two of the only things that I have made successfully in a slow cooker. Beautiful Pics!
This sounds delicious. As my mom was from an Austrian background she would often make pork neck with sauerkraut…I was never a fan. I like the idea of this though!
It’s what’s for dinner on SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!!! Thanks-this sounds amazing!
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I have been searching for a pulled pork recipe for a month now but have not really come across a recipe that appealed to me. My husband and I love bold flavors. This sounds so great with the balsamic and the blackberry jam. Also love the idea of red cabbage. Awesome ! Cannot wait to make it. Its next on my list.
Sounds wonderful. Any way to do this without a slow cooker?
Hi Holly, I’m sure! I would just look for a stovetop (or oven) pulled pork recipe and then adapt accordingly.
I love pork! This looks delicious and tasty!
I so wish I had a crockpot full of this pulled pork waiting for me when I get home tonight! I love the addition of the slaw too!
I love a pulled pork sandwich with slaw, this recipe looks pretty and delicious!
This pulled pork sounds absolutely amazing! Love balsamic- and that slaw looks so colourful and delicious :)
Love this flavor combination for pulled pork!
Is the sauce really sweet? Everything sounds wonderful, I just dont like really sweet pulled pork :-) The cabbage sounds amazing!
Hi Wendie, It’s not; the balsamic balances out the other sweet ingredients.
I also spied this, printed the recipe, and then promptly got busy with other stuff. Seeing it again on BEB is just confirmation this should be the next thing in the Crockpot. That slaw looks really good, too.
It is always great to make food that fit to our own taste, rather than just depend on the recipes or being a slave to somebody’s cooking.
I am so jealous that you got your family around to be with you to celebrate New Year. Being an immigrant here in the US, I only have my husband and children here, so New Year is just the four of us. Although it is just us, the fun does not get boring because it is spent with the one I love.
Once again the pictures are amazing.
Like you, I can’t stand sauerkraut. I’ve ordered Reubens without the kraut. But I love slaw. It reminds me of Carolina pulled pork sandwiches which include slaw. I’ll try it next time I’m feeding a crowd.
I love that you added blackberry jam to the sauce – sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try this
Yum! What a great flavor combination!! Love the balsamic honey! Your sandwich looks just so yummy!! Love it!
I lovelovelove pulled pork! This honey balsamic spin sounds to-diiiiiee-for.
I love anything honey balsamic so this needs to happen to my face!
Love the idea of using the blackberry jam in the recipe! Looks delicious :)
Well this sounds much improved! I’m the same as you, really not fussed about pork but pulled pork is a different matter!
This does sound delicious, so thank you. I am just wondering
about a substitution for the blackberry jam as this
Is the only ingredient I am not fond of.
Pull pork is one of my faves; I might not be into sport but if this the kind of ood being served sign me up!
Also thank you for using purple slaw instead of green. Green is so boring and the purple Asian pickle would fit these burgers nicely
The pulled pork with honey balsamic sounds scrumptious! And I am really curious about how good the slaw is! Thanks for sharing :D
Andre @ http://andresthehomebaker.blogspot.hk/