Pulled Pork with Cabbage and Bacon is a savory recipe made in the slow cooker. Plan ahead to allow time for overnight marinating and eight hours in the slow cooker. Served with a red wine from the Jura region of France as part of French Winophiles event. Read on for food and wine pairing details, or click here to jump down to the recipe.
Wine from the Jura
Today the French Winophiles group is visiting the Jura, a region in Eastern France between Burgundy and the Swiss border. The Jura is home to some unique wines that have developed in isolation from trends in neighboring regions, not to mention the rest of the world.
We were dining at Craigie on Main in the late summer, a Cambridge restaurant that includes a good number of off the beaten path wines on its list. When conferring with the sommelier about something that would go with my pork dish, she suggested a bottle from the Jura when I said I’d like to try something different. I knew this Winophiles event would be focusing on the Jura, so I readily jumped on the chance to sample a bottle.
That evening at Craigie we had the 2014 Arbois “Les Grands Vergers” (appx. $35, 12.5% ABV) from Michel Gahier, made from Trousseau grapes. in the Jura region of France. The wine has a (good) funky nose, with a flavorful taste profile, plum fruit and a bit of tartness.
The Arbois Les Grands Vergers paired well with the pork 3 ways at Craigie on Main. So when Ray from Pairings Wine & Food said he could order a bottle of Trousseau from the Jura for me, I started thinking about pork dishes I might make, leading to this Pulled Pork with Cabbage and Bacon recipe.
Pulled Pork with Cabbage and Bacon
I was planning to make a dish for Winophiles on what turned out to be a busy weekend of fall baseball, which pointed me in the direction of a slow cooker recipe. I decided to adapt the basic slow cooker pulled pork recipe I posted previously. This recipe is a fairly traditional, BBQ style recipe. For Pulled Pork with Cabbage and Bacon, I tried to focus on some fall flavors that I thought might also be found in a mountainous region in France. The spice blend for the pulled pork with cabbage includes sage, rosemary and fennel, and the pork gets slowly cooked with ingredients like maple syrup and apple cider–sounds like fall, right?
Shredded cabbage gets added to the final phase of cooking the pulled pork. The recipe starts and ends with bacon. First, we start the process by crisping some bacon in a skillet that then gets used for browning the pork shoulder. That bacon gets put aside to then top the pulled pork with cabbage dish.
This pulled pork with cabbage recipe is definitely a plan ahead deal. The process begins by marinating the pork overnight, followed by 8 hours of slow cooking. The savory pork and cabbage dish is worth the effort! Definitely a good fall or winter meal.
Jura Wine for Pulled Pork and Cabbage
We served the 2014 Chateau L’Etoile Cotes-Du-Jura ($17, 11.5% ABV) with our Pulled Pork and Cabbage with Bacon. This wine is made from 100% Trousseau, a red wine grape that originated in Eastern France. The wine is very light red in the glass. I got anise on the nose, with a tart cherry taste. Light acidity. This easygoing wine was a good match for the flavorful pulled pork with cabbage, and also worked with the Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter we had on our plates.
It was interesting to have a chance to sample two Trousseau wines from the Jura. Granted, I didn’t have them side by side, but it was easy to recall the notable differences. The bottle from Michel Gahier that we had at the restaurant was brooding and funky, with notable tannins. The Trousseau from Chateau L’Etoile is more straightforward, something I would describe as a younger wine. However, they are both from the same vintage. The Michel Gahier bottle seems to be more in keeping with other references to Trousseau I found online, suggesting that it is a complex and unusual wine typically. Either bottle I tried makes for good pairing with pork!
- SPICE BLEND
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 ½ tsp sage
- 2 tsp rosemary
- ¼ tsp fennel
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp salt
- PORK MARINADE
- 3 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp cider
- 1 tbsp soy
- 1 tbsp spice blend
- 1 tsp maple
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar (substitute other vinegar if you like)
- PHASE 1 INGREDIENTS
- oil spray
- 1 or 2 strips bacon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- Tbsp spice blend
- Tbsp maple
- Tsp soy
- Tbsp cider
- 8 ozs chicken broth
- Reserved marinade
- PHASE 2 INGREDIENTS
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp syrup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp spice blend
- 4 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
- MAKE THE SPICE BLEND: Combine the spice blend ingredients, from the garlic powder through the salt, in a bowl. Set aside.
- MAKE THE MARINADE: In a bowl, combine the pork marinade ingredients from the olive oil through the vinegar.
- Rinse and pat dry the pork, then place it in a large sealable plastic bag. Pour in the marinade, seal, and toss the pork gently a few times to make sure all the meat is well coated with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or at least 8 hours.
- PREPARE FOR SLOW COOKING (PHASE 1): Have your slow cooker at the ready. Coat a skillet with oil spray. Heat the skillet on medium, and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp, turning occasionally. Will take 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside to cool.
- Pour out excess bacon grease from the skillet. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet used for the bacon. Add the onions, and cook on medium for 5 minutes.
- Take the pork out of the marinade, reserving the marinade. Add the pork to the skillet, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the meat occasionally to brown it on all sides.
- Transfer the pork and onions to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining Phase 1 ingredients to the slow cooker: tablespoon of spice blend, maple syrup, soy sauce, apple cider chicken broth, and reserved marinade.
- Cover the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to low, and cook for 8 hours.
- After the 8 hours of slow cooking, the meat will be fall apart tender. Remove the meat to a platter, and give it a few minutes to cool. Then use two forks to shred the pork, breaking it into bite sized pieces.
- Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker along with the Phase 2 ingredients: mustard, maple syrup, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of spice mix and cabbage.
- Cook on low another 30 to 60 minutes. The longer cook time will allow for more of the liquid to be absorbed by the pork.
- Scoop and serve the pork out of the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Enjoy!
Tools to use
Don’t have a slow cooker yet? You’ll need it for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork! We have enjoyed our Crock-Pot, so sharing an Amazon affiliate link below and earlier in the post to the latest version of the model we have.
French Winophiles visit the Jura
- Exploring the Flavors of Jura Wine and Food by Wine Predator
- Finding Jura by L’ocassion
- My Kingdom for a Bresse Chicken by FoodWineClick
- Totally Digging the Jurassic World of #Wine by Rockin’ Red Blog
- To the Jura with Vin Jaune, Toétché, Wild Mushrooms, & Comté by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Pulled Pork with Cabbage and Bacon by David from Cooking Chat (you are here!)