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!