Crock Pot Appetizer: Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders


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Pulled pork sliders cooked in a Crock Pot by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

I made these bourbon pulled pork sliders for Derby Day last year after coming across the recipe on Cooking with Stilettos. Since then, I’ve adapted them just a bit, and they’ve been one of my most hotly-requested appetizers. Kyle loves them, and even when I make insanely huge batches of pulled pork, it still manages to disappear within 24 hours. So, I decided to whip up a few dozen pulled pork sliders for our Super Bowl watch party this year and thought it’d be yummy to throw some homemade coleslaw into the mix. I might be being dramatic, but I don’t think I’ll ever eat pulled pork sliders without coleslaw again. The combination of sweet, salty, and tangy is seriously so good! Anyway, keep reading for the simple, no-fuss pulled pork sliders recipe. I’m also sharing my homemade cole slaw recipe at the very bottom of this post, as well!

Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders

Pulled pork sliders recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

This pulled pork sliders recipe is ultra simple and ideal for those days when you’ve got a zillion other things going on and just need some set-it-and-forget-it-type dishes. I’m list out all the ingredients and sharing a printable recipe card below!

Pulled Pork Sliders Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make enough bourbon pulled pork for 36 sliders (scale up or down depending on your party size)–

  • 6-7 pounds bone-in pork shoulder– For reference, the pork shoulder I used for this post was about 7 pounds. I know 6-7 pounds sounds like a lot of meat– and don’t get me wrong, it is, but a large percentage of pork shoulder is fat. The fat literally melts off of the bone in this recipe, so you’ll likely end up with less meat than you thought you had.
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar– I personally use light, but either will do. 
  • 1 cup bourbon– I don’t normally say this about bourbon, but please only use the cheap stuff! Don’t get me wrong– this is my all-time favorite pulled pork recipe, but expensive bourbon is wasted on this recipe. 
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire 
  • 4 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 onions, sliced– I recommend using red or white onions- or a mixture of both!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s everything you need to assemble the pulled pork sliders themselves–

  • Slider buns– Kyle absolutely loves King’s Hawaiian sliders buns, so I’m partial to them, too. They’re hard to find, but they’re so worth the hassle. 
  • Coleslaw– I’m sharing my homemade cole slaw recipe below!
  • Maple bourbon pickle chipsSam’s Choice maple bourbon pickle chips from Walmart are the absolute best. They’re so affordable, too!
  • Barbecue sauce– The pulled pork is extremely tender, so you may not need any barbecue sauce. Still, it’s always nice to have some extra on hand for guests. 

Materials-wise, you’ll also need a slow cooker and blender handy. 

Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders Recipe

Bourbon pulled pork sliders recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

This pulled pork sliders recipe is simple and ideal for those days when you’ve got a zillion other things going on and just need some set-it-and-forget-it-type dishes. Here’s how to make them– 

First, get your Crock Pot ready. Next, season the pork shoulder with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place the meat inside of a large greased pot or dutch oven and then brown it over medium high heat on all sides. I normally cook it for about two minutes on each of the six sides. 

Step 1 of blogger Stephanie Ziajka's crock pot sliders recipe on Diary of a Debutante

Meanwhile, combine the bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ketchup, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk everything together until it’s fully combined. 

Step 2 of blogger Stephanie Ziajka's game day sliders recipe on Diary of a Debutante

After the meat’s browned and you’ve made the bourbon pulled pork marinade, layer the sliced onions in the bottom of your Crock Pot.

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shares one of her favorite slow cooker game day recipes on Diary of a Debutante

Transfer the pork shoulder to the Crock Pot and then pour the bourbon barbecue sauce over the meat. Make sure the pork is fully covered on all sides, otherwise parts of it can dry out. 

Step 4 of blogger Stephanie Ziajka's slow cooker pulled pork recipe on Diary of a Debutante Slow cooker pork sliders recipe on Diary of a Debutante

Put the lid on your Crock Pot or slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 190F. It’s not totally necessary (so don’t worry about setting an alarm in the middle of the night if you’re an overnight slow cooker fan), but I recommend turning the pork on the opposite side halfway through. It just helps make sure everything’s evenly cooked and equally tender. 

After the pork shoulder’s done cooking, transfer it to a large cutting board. Cut the meat into large pieces and then use two forks to pull it in opposite directions, giving you long thin shreds. 

Meanwhile, skim the fat as best you can from the sauce/onions in the slow cooker. Ladle what’s left into a blender and blend until smooth.

Transfer the pulled pork back into the slow cooker and set it to warm or whatever its lowest heat setting is. Give the bourbon sauce a taste to make sure you like it and, if you do, pour some over the pulled pork to keep it wet. If you aren’t a huge fan (I say this because the post-slow-cooked sauce has a very distinct flavor, and the bourbon pulled pork itself has more than flavorful enough to hold its own), discard the leftover sauce and splash a bit of chicken stock over the meat. It will keep the pulled pork equally moist without changing its flavor. 

Serve warm on slider buns with homemade coleslaw, pickle chips, and extra barbecue sauce if needed. 

Bourbon pulled pork sliders recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Coleslaw Recipe for Pulled Pork Sliders

Homemade cole slaw recipe from blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make this sweet and savory homemade coleslaw–

  • 1 16oz bag tri-color cole slaw mix– You can also create your own with shredded green cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrots.
  • 1/2 medium-sized white onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil mayo
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • Pinch of salt

Homemade Cole Slaw Recipe

Game Day pulled pork slider toppings on Diary of a Debutante

This homemade cole slaw recipe is about as easy as it gets. Just combine it all in a large bowl and then stir to combine. Serve cold. If you’ve got leftovers– or if you’re prepping it in advance, store the coleslaw the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days. 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shares a coleslaw recipe for pulled pork sliders on Diary of a DebutanteClassic homemade coleslaw recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

As much as I love it on these bourbon pulled pork sliders, this homemade coleslaw is great by itself, too. I highly recommend serving it as a side dish at barbecues! Just be sure to double the ingredients because, trust me, it goes fast. 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shares one of her favorite game day crock pot recipes on Diary of a Debutante

Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders

Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders

Yield: 36 sliders
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Additional Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes

Made with tender pulled pork and savory homemade bourbon barbecue sauce, these pulled pork sliders are perfect for those busy occasions when you just need some simple, set-it-and-forget-it-type recipes. Add homemade cole slaw and maple bourbon pickle chips on top for a fresh and extra tangy twist!

Ingredients

Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders

  • 6-7 pounds bone-in pork shoulder
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 4 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 36 slider buns of choice
  • Homemade Cole Slaw
  • Maple bourbon pickle chips

Homemade Cole Slaw

  • 1 16oz bag tri-color cole slaw mix
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil mayo
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

For the Pulled Pork Sliders:

  1. Season the pork shoulder with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place the meat inside of a large greased pot or dutch oven and then brown it over medium high heat on all sides.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ketchup, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk everything together until it’s fully combined. 
  3. Layer the sliced onions in the bottom of your Crock Pot. Transfer the browned pork shoulder to the Crock Pot, nestling it on top of the onion slices, and then pour the bourbon barbecue sauce over the meat. Make sure the pork is fully covered on all sides, otherwise parts of it can dry out. 
  4. Put the lid on your Crock Pot or slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 190F.
  5. Once the pork shoulder’s done cooking, transfer it to a large cutting board (be careful-- it'll be hot). Cut the meat into large pieces, remove any pieces of fat that are still attached, and then use two forks to pull the pork in opposite directions, giving you long thin shreds.
  6. Skim the fat as best you can from the sauce/onions in the slow cooker. Ladle what’s left into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Transfer the pulled pork back into the slow cooker and set it to warm (or whatever its lowest heat setting is). Pour some of the bourbon sauce over the pulled pork to keep it wet.
  8. Serve warm on slider buns with homemade coleslaw, pickle chips, and extra barbecue sauce if needed.  

For the Homemade Cole Slaw:

  1. Combine slaw mix, chopped onion, white wine vinegar, mayo, sugar, ground mustard, and celery seeds in a large bowl and then stir to combine. Add salt to taste.
  2. Serve cold and store in fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days. 

Notes

It’s not totally necessary (so don’t worry about setting an alarm in the middle of the night if you’re an overnight slow cooker fan), but I recommend turning the pork on the opposite side halfway through. It just helps make sure everything’s evenly cooked and equally tender. 

If you aren’t a huge fan of the skimmed bourbon sauce from the slow cooker (I say this because the post-slow-cooked sauce has a very distinct flavor, and the bourbon pulled pork itself has more than flavorful enough to hold its own), discard the leftover sauce and splash a bit of chicken stock over the meat. It will keep the pulled pork equally moist without changing its flavor.

More Game Day Appetizers to Try

One of my favorite things about this bourbon pulled pork sliders recipe is that it’s perfect for lots of different occasions– summer barbecues, tailgates, Derby Day parties, etc. Still, it reminds me of football more than anything else– and the fact that it’s made in a slow cooker just makes it a perfect Game Day appetizer. If you need more easy appetizer recipes (for Game Day or otherwise), here are a few more of my favorites–

  • Baked Spinach Dip– This savory cream cheese dip is easily re-heatable and the definition of a crowd-pleaser! It’s perfect for all occasions, too– from large game day snack spreads to intimate parties and get-togethers.
  • Sweet and Spicy Game Day Meatballs These delicious sweet and spicy beef meatballs are perfect for large parties and game day gatherings! They make a great family-friendly dinner served over rice, too.
  • Baked Pimento Cheese Dip– If you’re from the South and are looking for more Game Day dips, this one’s a must-try!
  • Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs Made with flavorful pimento cheese, these creamy pimento cheese deviled eggs literally disappear at parties. They’re just so gosh darn good. 
  • Game Day Snack Board– This fun and easy snack board is shaped like a football with green fruits and veggies surrounding it. 


 


 
Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for y’all today! Thanks so much for reading– and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any problems with this bourbon pulled pork sliders recipe, homemade cole slaw recipe, or any of my others. I love hearing from you guys, and I’m happy to help! 

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