Since it has been so warm in Birmingham the past couple of weeks, I wanted to make a dish that felt like summer and celebrated the warm weather’s return. However, when I originally planned to make this dish, it wasn’t going to be in the 30s-40s this weekend… But oh well, I was already committed to it so I rolled with it and it was delicious (and will be at any time of the year). This is the perfect dish to make for an easy weeknight dinner or a Saturday barbecue.
I knew I wanted to make some sort of pork dish, and remembered seeing recipes for pork cooked in a slow cooker with Coke, Root Beer, or Dr Pepper and have always wanted to give it a try. I opted to go with Dr Pepper and made a Cherry Broccoli Slaw to go with it, since cherry is one of Dr Pepper’s 23 flavors. The meat was so tender and definitely had slight hints of cherry in it. Topped with the slaw, this was a flavorful combination that I will definitely be making again and again.
I used a 2.5 lb Boston Butt Roast since it is a fattier cut, which makes the meat more tender. The Boston Butt Roast (you’ll probably also see it marked on packages as Pork Shoulder), is cut from the shoulder of the pig, not the butt. It got its name from New England butchers in colonial times who would pack similar cuts of meat like this into barrels, called butts, for storage.
This recipe isn’t very involved at all. You just put the roast into the slow cooker…
…pour the Dr. Pepper over it…
…and let it cook for 6 hours on low.
While the pork is cooking, prepare the slaw. I opted to use a Broccoli Slaw mix, but you can definitely use a regular Coleslaw mix. For the dried cherries, try to find dried tart cherries instead of using something like Craisins with cherry flavor. The tart cherries don’t overwhelm with their sweetness.
All you have to do for the slaw is chop up the dried cherries, whisk together the dressing, and stir everything together. And here’s a tip: To keep the cherries from sticking to your knife blade, spray the blade with a little cooking spray before you begin chopping.
After 6 hours hours, remove the pork from the slow cooker, drain the liquid, and shred pork with forks. At this point you can remove any extra fatty pieces. Return to slow cooker and mix in barbecue sauce (I used a local restaurant’s sauce but any tomato-based sauce will work). Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.
Top hamburger buns with pork…
Dr Pepper Pulled Pork with Cherry Broccoli Slaw
1 (2.5 lb) Boston Butt Roast
Salt and Pepper
1 (20oz) bottle Dr Pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup mayo
1 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (12 oz) package broccoli slaw mix
1/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1 pkg. (8-count) Hamburger buns
1. Sprinkle roast all over with salt and pepper. Place roast in slow cooker and pour Dr Pepper over it. Cook on low for 6 hours.
2. Remove pork from slow cooker and drain liquid. Shred pork with forks and return to slow cooker. Stir in 1 cup of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 30 minutes.
3. To prepare slaw: In a large bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, and sugar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in slaw mix and cherries.
4. Serve pulled pork topped with slaw on hamburger buns. Add additional barbecue sauce, if desired.