This post is sponsored by Toby’s Family Foods. All thoughts, photos, and opinions are my own.
Let’s take a moment and talk about the meaning of finger food–it’s food that’s meant to be handled in one’s hands–for this purpose, all things dubbed “finger food” should be able to be eaten in 3-4 bites and is acceptable to eat with one’s hands without embarrassment. Most people’s minds go to the typical party fare we all know and love–veggies and dip, wings, cheese and crackers, and chips and guacamole (did you know 139 million pounds of avocados are consumed thanks to the big game this weekend? (source)). I would like to turn the attention to one of my favorite party items: sliders.
I wanted to cover something that wouldn’t have you frantically sorting through green avocados the day before the big game. These pulled pork sliders have components that shine even on their own; I am, therefore, going to break down the recipe in sections, and allow you to build it how you would like.
If creating this recipe for game day, Here’s how I would go about it to allow for ample prep time. Double the jalapeño batch and use throughout the week for menu planning (these will go great on burgers, nachos, sandwiches, eggs, and a lot more). Prep the beef two days prior, cook one day prior, and transfer to your trusty crockpot to keep heated throughout the game the day of. Make the slaw one day prior, to allow the flavors to marry and mellow in the fridge for up to 24 hours. A slaw given the chance to break down a bit will always have better flavor than a brand new batch.
This spicy pork sliders recipe features a zesty jalapeño ranch slaw, the base of which is jalapeño ranch salad dressing by Toby’s Family Foods.
Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby’s Jalapeño Ranch Slaw
- 8-10 Jalapeños, sliced thin using a sharp knife or mandolin
- 3/4 C Water
- 3/4 C Distilled Vinegar
- 3 T White sugar
- 1 T Kosher salt
- 2 Cloves garlic, smashed
For the Meat
- 2.5-3lb Pork shoulder
- 1 1/2 T Smoked paprika
- 1/2 T Garlic powder
- 1/2 T Brown sugar
- 1 1/2 T Course sea salt
- 1/2 T Dry mustard
- 1 T Maple syrup
- 3 Dozen slider buns
Zesty Ranch Slaw
- 3 C Slaw mix (if from scratch, 1 c shredded red cabbage, 1/2 c shredded kale, 1 c shredded green cabbage)
- 1/3 C Toby’s Jalapeño Ranch
- 2 T Mayonnaise
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/2 t Salt
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Start with the Jalapeños–these can be pickled up to a week ahead of time. Combine everything but the jalapeños and garlic into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Assemble the jalapeños and garlic into a sanitized quart-sized mason jar and pour the boiling liquid over the jalapeños. Using a chopstick (or other skinny long stick-shaped item), press to the bottom of the jar, shaking as you go. Doing this releases bubbles of air from the jar, which will improve the seal on the jar (thus the longevity of the can). Place the lid tightly on the jar and allow to first cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until needed.
For the meat, mix the herbs and spread generously to the cut of meat. Place in shallow bowl and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at leas 1 hour, overnight if you have enough time. Once ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300ºF, and transfer the meat from the bowl to a deep pan or dutch oven and move to the oven. Bake for 2-4 hours, checking the internal temperature revery 30 minutes past the second hour until the internal temperature of the meat is 170ºF and meat is easily torn.
Tear the meat using two forks, and stir in the maple syrup–seasoning again to taste with salt and pepper, then setting aside until it’s time to build your sliders.
While the meat is in the oven, it’s best to start the slaw, that way it is time to marinate in the fridge. Combine all of the slaw ingredients, stir, and season to taste. Next, refrigerate until needed. When it comes time to build the sliders, toast the buns–remember that gluten free buns can be subbed in, and with that alteration, this recipe can be made GF. Build the sliders topping with as many pickled jalapeños as you’d like.
This recipe serves 10.