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Memorial day weekend with pulled pork, slaw and grilling.


Generaly, the end of May signals dependable warm weather and all sorts of yardwork to be done. It is also a great time to finish the day with a cold beverage and some burgers or hotdogs on the grill.

Memorial Day, which usually falls on the last weekend of may, is often considered the start of the grilling season. Of course, here in New England, grilling is often done year round, provided you can locate the grill and shovel it out from under three feet of snow.

For a larger party on a holiday weekend, it’s important to have enough food ready so people are not waiting in line, starving, while the burgers are slowly being finished.

I think this is a perfect time to make some pulled pork with BBQ sauce and coleslaw. The aroma of the roasting pork fills the air and the smell of BBQ seasoning makes you think of summer cookouts and fairs.

This is a great dish for parties, graduations, or just dinner, since it is pretty simple to put together and inexpensive to boot. It does, however, take a bit of planning. The hardest part is the waiting because when you are in the mood for it you still have to wait at least a full day, usually two.

I usually cook the pork overnight so it is ready in the morning and you wake up to the delicious scent of roasted pork shoulder. Once it’s out of the oven, you must sample the succulent strips of pork, over and over and over……. I get hungry just writing about it.

Some things to accompany this delicious dish are coleslaw, potato salad and rolls.

And to keep the grill busy and the grilling guys busy as well, throw on the burgers and dogs.


OK, so let’s get to work!

Planning is key. Figure out when you want to enjoy eating it and count back two days to figure out when you need to start it. If you want to have it for Sunday lunch, you need to start the preparations on Friday.

Pulled Pork (for 10-12people)

1 bone-in pork shoulder/pork butt (the pork butt is the upper part of the shoulder and is the preferred part) about 6-8 lbs

4 Tbsp salt

4 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp paprika sweet

1/4 tsp hot paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp mustard powder

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp celery seed

1/2 cup cider vinegar

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes liquid smoke


Mix the dry ingredients together and rub/coat the meat liberally. Next, drizzle it with the vinegar, liquid smoke, and Worcestershire sauce – make sure to rub and coat it well. Put the pork in a ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator overnight.

About 10 hours before you want to enjoy it, place it in the oven at 250 degrees and roast for about 9 hours. The meat should fall apart and fall off the bone when poked. Do not put BBQ sauce on the meat when you cook it as most sauces have a lot of sugar and tend to burn, making your pork bitter.

Let the meat cool enough to handle, drain the fat and start pulling it off the bone and pull it apart with your fingers or a couple of forks. This is the point you want to add the BBQ sauce.

When you pull the pork shoulder out of the oven you have to sample at least one little piece, just to make sure it is done and tastes right. The skin is crispy and crunchy so you have to break off a piece to, you know, quality control it. Then you pull off a bit more of the succulent pork strips and shove them in your mouth. Slow roasting it with the skin and fat covering it makes it incredibly juicy and tender, yum!



½ head green cabbage (2 lb)

½ head red cabbage (2 lb)

2 carrots

1/2 medium onion

4 scallions

2 Tbsp salt

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 cups mayonnaise


Slice cabbage thin on a mandolin or by hand with a chef’s knife. Shred the carrots, slice the onion thin, chop the scallion, and mix together with the cabbage.

Sprinkle the dry ingredients over cabbage mix and blend well. Add the mayonnaise and vinegar and mix it in well. Let the slaw stand for at least an hour to marinate. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Slice up some onion rolls or kaiser rolls and pile on the pork, top with your favorite BBQ sauce and perhaps some coleslaw. I usually eat the coleslaw on the side but that is a personal preference. Some potato salad, pickles, and, of course, a cold beer to wash it down with.

Mmmmm, finger licking good!


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