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Pulled Beef Sandwiches with Crunchy Coleslaw

Pulled Beef Sandwiches with Crunchy Coleslaw


I’ll let these pulled beef and coleslaw sandwiches speak for themselves . . .

The meat is slow cooked and then easily shredded using two forks. I’ve chosen a tart, more acidic coleslaw, which helps cut the heaviness of the fatty meat. Beyond that, you can add lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickle, avocado, corn, and any other add-ins you choose.

You do need to use a fatty cut for pulled beef, so you can get that nice, soft, falling-apart texture. The long cook on a lower temperature helps break down the fat, making the meat absolutely succulent. I used short ribs (bone in, which gives it extra flavor), but you could also use a second cut brisket.

Although the meat takes a while to cook, it keeps in the fridge for at least 4 days (stored in an airtight container), so you can make it on Sunday and use it in these sandwiches one night, and use the leftovers another night. It goes well in tacos, or over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. It also freezes well if you want to use it again, but not the same week.

Pulled Beef Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, sliced in half rounds
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2.5 lb. short ribs (bone in)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. ginger powder


  1. In medium-sized pot, fry the onions with the oil and salt until golden. Remove the onions and set aside. Return pot to the heat.
  2. Cut the ribs between the bones (but do not remove the bones) and brown on each side, in the same pot. Brown the meat in small batches. If the pot is overcrowded, the meat will steam instead of browning.
  3. When all the meat has browned, add the onions back into the pot.
  4. Pour in all the sauce ingredients over the meat and mix to combine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook over a very low flame for 3 hours.
  5. Remove the meat from the sauce and shred. (If the meat does not fall apart easily, you need to cook it for longer.) Discard the bones and any lumps of fat.
  6. Return the meat to the sauce and keep warm until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
  7. Meat keeps well in either the refrigerator or freezer.

Coleslaw Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. purple coleslaw mix (you can use pre-bagged mix, or if you’re making your own, the ratio is about 70% shredded purple cabbage, 15% shredded green cabbage, 15% shredded carrot)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. light olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. mustard
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Dash of garlic powder and black pepper


  1. Pour the honey, apple cider vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic into a saucepan and cook over low heat until combined. Let the dressing cool, then pour it over the coleslaw mix. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to marinate.

You will also need:

  • Fresh, crusty bread
  • Other fixings of your choice, such as tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers
  • Lots and lots of napkins!

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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paul blain new mexico December 25, 2017

hi , in your coleslaw dressing recipe is that dry mustard or prepared mustard ? Reply

Miriam Szokovski December 26, 2017
in response to paul blain:

Hi Paul,

I used prepared mustard.

I hope that helps. Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 23, 2016

thank you! thank you Sheila and Meir for your feedback. If you try it, let me know how you enjoy it. Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 23, 2016

refuah sheleima Hi Sandra,

Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a speedy recovery and good health. Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 23, 2016

crock pot Hi Karen,

Yes, you could definitely transfer it to a crockpot. I would fry the onions, brown the meat, add the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil, then transfer to the crockpot and cook on low. It might take longer than the stovetop method, so I would go by feel, not by time.

Let me know how it comes out! Reply

sandra greenbaum 19702 January 20, 2016

i'm a big fan of Miriam's recipes. hi Miriam, I have been a fan of yours since 2013, when I made your Chanukah Surprise cake. all the kids and adults really were surprised, "how did you do that?"
Well, now, I'm have a different tune to sing=I found out I have gall stones and many foods have been removed from my diet. Thank G_d I am doing well with a strict diet alone, but your pulled beef sandwich and cole slaw, I can't wait to try it. Be well everyone. Reply

Gene Miller Kinston, NC, USA January 13, 2016

After browning in pan on stove top what about cooking in a crockpot? I cooked a boneless roast this way a couple of weeks ago & it pulled apart with forks easily. Reply

Sheila USA January 11, 2016

Outstanding! I love this recipe and will be making it very soon. Thank you! Reply

Meir January 10, 2016

Looks Amazing! Those sanwiches look out of this world! I just want to reach in to my computer monitor, grab one of them and take a juicy delicious bite.

The author should seriously consider opening her own restaurant! Reply

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