Crock Pot Pulled Pork with Apple Fennel Slaw

We’re two weeks out from the Super Bowl and most people are starting to try and figure out what they are going to make as part of their game day menu. Our solution: Crock Pot Pulled Pork With Apple Fennel Slaw!

It’s a great recipe to throw together when you need to feed a lot of people. And while it doesn’t need to be a sporting event to entice you to make this juicy, tender, mouthwatering pulled pork,  it provides a damn good excuse to make it!

So, what inspired me to focus on pulled pork for this post? Well, lately, I’ve had pulled pork on my mind since we took a visit down to Annapolis, MD a few weeks ago to spend time with some friends.  They had made a batch and I was like, “Damn, I forgot how good pulled pork is!  I need to try and make my own at home!”.  

When I came home, I did a bit of recipe research and development and was delighted to find that I could use a bunch of ingredients from my own pantry! The only items I had to go out and purchase were: the pork shoulder, apples, fennel bulb, and cabbage. Four items!  FOUR! How freaking fabulous is that?! (I find it to be a small victory when I can minimize the number of ingredients I need to go out and purchase when I do food shopping, due to the supply of everyday staples I keep in my pantry. Go team!)

So, after I got my four ingredients and did my own little victory dance, I came home and prepped this beautiful, tender piece of meat for a delicious dinner with my family. (Aren’t they lucky being the guinea pigs? Sometimes… They’ve seen some mishaps too though. haha)

With the scrumptious aroma of cooking pork emanating from my crock pot, I decided I wanted to make my own homemade buns from scratch!  If you’re feeling super hands-on as well and want to tackle this, I suggest doing so! Making bread can be super intimidating, but it’s actually not that hard. The majority of the time spent making bread is actually just letting it sit and proof.  Once you make your first batch, you’ll feel super accomplished! It’s a great feeling!

If you don’t feel like baking, no worries! Just go out and buy some buns. I won’t tell if you won’t!

For my buns, I decided to use poppy seeds instead of the everything seasoning that I mentioned in that bun recipe, since I already had poppy seeds for the apple fennel slaw.  (I like to cross utilize ingredients when I can!)

When you’re ready to serve, just put out the crock pot of pulled pork with some tongs for serving, as well as the buns and the slaw, and let people dig in! I’m sure it will be a game day winner, even if your team may not be doing the best. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please feel free to share your pictures of your own Crock Pot Pulled Pork on Instagram and tag me @starknakedcooking!  I’d love to see how they come out!

As always, thank you for cooking with me on Stark Naked Cooking and have a wonderful week! Until next weekend, when our food adventure continues!

Buen provecho!


Crock Pot Pulled Pork With Apple Fennel Slaw
Serves 10
Set it and forget it! This Crock Pot Pulled Pork is a great way to make a delicious meal for a large gathering, or even for a busy weeknight. Just prep your ingredients, throw them into the crock pot, go to work (or run errands), and come home to a mouthwatering cooked meal!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Total Time
9 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Total Time
9 hr 30 min
Pulled Pork
  1. 4 onions, sliced thinly
  2. 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  3. 1 cup maple syrup
  4. 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  5. 1 cup water
  6. 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  7. 4 cinnamon sticks
  8. 2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  9. 2 tsp. cayenne powder
  10. 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  11. 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  12. 2 Tbsp. salt
  13. 1 Tbsp. pepper
  14. 1 tsp. cumin
  15. 7 to 8 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder
  16. 12 burger buns
Apple Fennel Slaw
  1. 1 1/4 lbs. cabbage, shredded
  2. 2 granny smith apples, julienned (or sliced thinly)
  3. 1 fennel bulb, julienned (or sliced thinly)
  4. 1/2 cup mayo
  5. 1 lemon, juiced
  6. 4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  7. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  8. 3 Tbsp. sugar
  9. 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds (optional)
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
Crock Pot Pulled Pork
  1. Using a 6 to 8-qt crock pot, put the sliced onions, sliced garlic, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, water, your favorite BBQ sauce, and 4 cinnamon sticks, and place on high-heat. Stir to mix the ingredients.
  2. Next, in a large bowl -- one large enough to eventually fit the pork shoulder -- combine the brown sugar, cayenne powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and cumin.
  3. On a large cutting board, use a long, thin, sharp knife to cut off the skin and fat of the pork shoulder. Take extra care around the skin near the bone, as you don't want to cut your fingers. (You can leave the skin on if you'd like, but I removed it, as my family and I don't tend to like a lot of fat. The end result was still absolutely moist and delicious!)
  4. Once the skin has been removed, put the pork shoulder in the bowl of seasoning and coat.
  5. After you have fully covered the pork shoulder in seasoning, place it into the crock pot and let cook for 8-10 hours on HIGH, until fork tender. (We do this on high, because the pork shoulder has the bone in and we want the meat to be super tender, to make it easy for shredding, and yummy for eating.)
Apple Fennel Slaw
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, granny smith apples, and fennel bulb. Mix together with your hands.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, create the dressing by combining the mayo, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, poppy seeds (optional), salt, and pepper. Whisk together and then pour over the slaw mixture in the large bowl.
  3. Using your hands, or tongs, mix together and put in the fridge until the pulled pork is done.
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