From the History Teacher: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Mom’s Cole Slaw

17 Aug

A treat for you today, my friends! The History Teacher himself is our guest blogger today. After harassing daily with the promise of lots of baked desserts as a thank you politely asking him to share his cookery knowledge, this BBQ aficionado (seriously — ask the man about barbecue sauce) agreed to share one of his best recipes. These pulled pork sandwiches (complete with a topping of light & creamy homemade cole slaw) are to-DIE-for. They do, however, require a slow-cooker or Crock Pot. Feel free to comment with questions about other equipment if you don’t have one — I’m sure he’d be happy to answer your queries. Enjoy!

Hello Galley Kitchen Gal readers,

This is the History Teacher, on special assignment and invitation from your regularly-scheduled host.  The GKG has invited me to guest-post a couple of times on a few of my own recipes.  Today’s is a personal favorite, and one that you can easily adjust to your own tastes.  I spent four years of college in the spectacular city of Richmond, VA – and there was exposed to some great southern cooking – not the least of which was Virginian-style (an easy-to-make and comparable-to style similar to Carolina-style) barbeque.

Image sourced from RVA itself, complete with Class 4 rapids in the James River.

This is a two-part recipe: pulled pork barbeque sandwiches and coleslaw.  This was a staple at the college dining hall, local sporting events and local BBQ joints, and a homemade favorite of mine.  Most of the work should be done the night before eating and in a slow-cooker or crock-pot.

Image sourced from While no photograph proof of the History Teacher’s sandwiches exists, this is pretty darn close to the real thing. Except, y’know, 2-dimensional. And odorless.


  • Hamburger buns
  • Approximately 4 lb. pork butt or loin roast (or any boneless pork roast)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can beef or chicken broth
  • A bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce (I like Buz and Ned’s, Sweet Baby Rays, Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet, Memphis Original, or Tennessee Whiskey, or Famous Dave’s Rich and Sassy, Sweet and Zesty, Apricot Bourbon, or Rich and Tangy sauces)

Image sourced from The GKG also likes Carolina Classic, but mustard-based sauces aren’t everyone’s favorite. Go for whatever tickles your taste buds.

Dry Rub Ingredients (adjust quantities to your personal taste):

  • 3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke (if available – not necessary
  • ½  tsp. crushed or ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Dash of salt and pepper


Combine all dry rub ingredients in a bowl to your taste.  (I like it a bit sweeter – if you don’t, cut some brown sugar.  If you like it spicy, add more red pepper.  If you like it with other flavors, add those spices to your preference.  If you don’t like a rub ingredient listed, cut it – it’s entirely your call.)  Rub those spices onto (and into) the pork roast and cover with a couple dashes of the vinegar.  Allow these to soak into the pork overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator and place in the crock-pot with the side(s) with the most fat down.  Add the diced onion, garlic, and broth gently to the pork (so as to not remove the spice rub) and cook in the slow-cooker or crock-pot on low for 8-10 hours. 

Image sourced from And from the humble cabbage rose … SLAW. Mmm.

Cole Slaw Ingredients (adjust to your personal taste):

  • 1 (14-16 oz.) bag coleslaw mix
  • ½ to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. (White or Apple cider) Vinegar
  • Dash onion powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Salad oil (thick, but so sugar dissolves)
  • ½ tsp. Celery seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients except bagged cole slaw mix.  Adjust to your own personal taste.  (I like it a bit sweeter, so I use the full amount of sugar.  Feel free to go with a bit less, or adjust other spices as are your preferences.)  Add this dressing to the bagged cole slaw and mix.  The combined mix and dressing should feel a little dry.  Leave in the refrigerator to cool overnight.  During this time, the vinegar should draw moisture out of the vegetables in the mix, making the cole slaw creamier and more moist.  If it isn’t moist enough for you, feel free to add more dressing if you want.



After cooking the pork, drain the juices and reserve the liquid in a bowl [to add back to the pork later].  Pull the pork from the slow-cooker or crock-pot, and pull apart into shreds with forks until separate.

Image sourced from Shredding pork — an easy task after it’s been cooking for a while.

Then, add the pork back to the slow-cooker or crock-pot with onion/garlic-y bits.  Add some juice combined with barbeque sauce to the pork mixture to make it moist, and toss this mixture until the pork is thoroughly covered with barbeque sauce.  Keep the mixture in the slow-cooker or crock-pot on Warm until the mixture is warmed through, or store to enjoy later.

Add cole slaw (or more barbeque sauce if you want) on top of pulled pork in a hamburger bun and dig in.  For a complete DMV treat, add french fries topped with Old Bay and enjoy!


I hope y’all enjoy this one as much as I did on my way between classes at the University of Richmond (go Spiders!), at college football and basketball games, weekends with friends, and since then for weekend BBQs and in DC.  Cheers, Sláinte, and God bless!

-the History Teacher
Stay tuned for future posts from the History Teacher — the BBQ master will be back, no doubt. Are you guys fans of pulled pork? How about pulled chicken? Or, heck, pulled taffy? 🙂 Happy eating!


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