Slow Cooker North Carolina–Inspired Barbecue

Cooking the pork in beer with apples adds a German influence to these sandwiches. The North Carolina influence comes from the vinegar-based coleslaw served as the condiment on the sandwiches. To continue the comfort-food theme, serve with baked beans and warm German potato salad.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 6 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 12


  • 3 lbs. pork Western ribs
  • 1 can (12 oz.) beer
  • 2 large Golden Delicious apples
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
  • 1 cup peach marmalade
  • 1 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 3⁄4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1⁄8 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs. bagged coleslaw mix
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 12 hamburger buns


  • Add the pork to the slow cooker. (Do not trim the fat from the ribs; itʼs what helps the meat cook up moist enough to shred for sandwiches. A lot of the fat will melt out of the meat as it cooks.)
  • Pour the beer over the pork. Peel, core, and slice the apples and add them to the slow cooker along with the onion, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, marmalade, 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the pork is cooked through and tender.
  • Combine cider vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, dried red pepper flakes, and remaining 3⁄4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to mix, and then stir in coleslaw mix. Add hot sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Use a slotted spoon to move the pork to a cutting board. Remove and discard any fat still on the meat. Use two forks to shred the meat.
  • Spoon the meat onto hamburger buns. Top the meat with a heaping tablespoon coleslaw. Have the onion slices that were cooked in with the meat available for those who want to add them to their sandwiches.