Pulled Pork Meatball Sandwiches with a tangy vinegar slaw, and creamy garlic aioli all packed into a toasted Portuguese bun. These are some serious game-day eats with all the makings of slow cooked pulled pork but served as meatballs instead.
These are game-day worthy and a great option any day of the week and any time of the year. Their ready in a fraction of the time that slow roasted pork shoulder would take and can easily serve a crowd.
To get all that pulled pork flavour, I combined ground pork with some classic pork rub spices like brown sugar, garlic, mesquite, and paprika. The meatball mixture is pretty straightforward and your typical meatball making and rolling process. I introduce that BBQ flavour at the end by brushing on some BBQ sauce over the meatballs during the final minutes of cooking this also keeps them moist and stops them from drying out.
I love coleslaw in sandwiches, it adds the perfect contrast and gives it a light crunchy texture in each bite bit it’s not overpowering and a little sweet and tangy from the dressing. I opted for a vinegar based slaw instead of something creamy because I chose to drizzle the sandwich with a garlic aioli in the end for a creamy sauce and texture. If you’ve got your own classic coleslaw recipe that you prefer you can swap that in here. You can add some apples if you like as well but I just stuck to a classic version with a mixture of green and purple cabbage, shredded carrots and threw in some cilantro because it works nicely with the pork. To make a vinegar coleslaw you’ll start by heating the apple cider and white vinegar in a saucepan with the sugar. Bring that to a slow boil until all the sugar is dissolved. This way you don’t get any grainy sugar bits and the warm vinegar will help to soften the cabbage so that it can nicely absorb the liquid and tone down that sharp crunchiness. I just toss in the rest of the dressing ingredients right into the saucepot and mix it all up so that it’s nicely incorporated. From there I pour it directly into the large bowl of cabbage mixture and toss that all together so that everything is well coated.
To cook the meatballs I start them off on a griddle or use a large cast iron pan to get them nicely browned on both sides. This gives a nice sear and crust and helps speed up the cooking process. I like to finish the meatballs off in the oven once their browned so that they cook evenly and don’t dry out on the stovetop. In the instructions there is an option to double sear the meatballs by cutting them in half once they’ve finished cooking in the oven and returning them to the griddle. Place the cut side down to sear the inside and add a nice crust all around. Of course this step is optional and not entirely necessary it just gives the meatballs extra texture. I really like to cut the meatballs in half because they sit much better in the sandwich and don’t fall out. It’s a nice little trick to any meatball sandwich.
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