If you are like us, you find recipes you like and stick with them. This is a great way to ensure you'll be eating what you love, but it is also a great way to miss out on some delicious new flavors. We just learned this the hard way. Let me explain... We love (I mean really really, made it a million times, love) Traeger's recipe for traditional Pulled Pork. It is our go-to for large parties and happy guests. Luckily for us, we are constantly encouraged to explore new recipes for Traeger Nation. We were hesitant to try out this Carolina Style Pulled Pork and Slaw (because we already had a favorite), but we pressed on and boy are we glad we did.
Carolina Style BBQ features delicious vinegar based mops and sauces (oh, and it's kinda spicy too!). There is no tomato sauce, no molasses, no honey. The star is the meat, the sauce is just a beautiful little flavor enhancer. A fair word of caution, the vinegar sauce and coleslaw are a bit puckery as well as spicy, so if you’ll be feeding children or heat-averse palates, substitute your favorite barbecue sauce for the vinegar sauce and make a more conventional mayonnaise-based slaw. We are converted from Memphis style to Carolina style, Traeger Nation. Come join us, it tastes so so good.
PREP TIME: 20 min. plus 8 hours for marinating the pork
COOK TIME: 8 to 10 hours
SERVES: 6 to 8
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory or Apple
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PORK:
• 1 bone-in Boston butt (6 to 7 pounds)
• Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub, or your favorite barbecue rub
• 1 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1 cup beer or apple juice
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
• Sliced buns for serving
FOR THE SAUCE AND SLAW:
• 2 cups apple cider vinegar
• 1-1/2 cups water
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 1/4 cup brown sugar, or more to taste
• 5 teaspoons salt
• 2 to 4 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
• 1/2 large cabbage, cored and shredded
Lightly wet your hands, and sprinkle them with the rub. Then massage the rub into your meat. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours.
Make the mop sauce: In a nonreactive bowl, combine the 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, beer, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot red pepper flakes. Reserve.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Remove the plastic from the pork butt and place the meat directly on the grill grate. Smoke for 3 hours, mopping with the mop sauce every hour after the first hour.
Increase the temperature to 250 degrees F and continue to roast the pork until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 3 more hours, mopping each hour.
Wrap the pork butt in foil and continue to cook until the internal temperature is 190 degrees.
Wrap the pork (still in the foil) in heavy bath towels and place in an insulated cooler for an hour. (Our fur friend thinks it smells just fine)
In the meantime, make the vinegar sauce: In a mixing bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, hot red pepper flakes, black pepper, and white pepper and stir until the salt and sugar crystals have dissolved. Taste for seasoning, adding more sugar or hot red pepper flakes as needed. Let sit for an hour for the flavors to develop.
In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded cabbage with about 1 cup of the vinegar sauce. We also added in about 1/4 cup diced red onion and a few shredded carrots.
Separate the still-warm pork into chunks, discarding the bone and any nasty bits or fat or gristle. Pull the pork into shreds and put them in a roasting pan (disposable is fine). Moisten the meat with any juices that accumulated in the foil as well as a little of the vinegar sauce.
Serve the meat on the buns with the slaw and serve the extra vinegar sauce on the side. Enjoy!