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Hone Your Craft

Rachel Albright, BBQ Heiress

Hone Your Craft BY olivia seely 06/11/2012

The jewelry designer shares her family’s tangy, finger-licking recipe.


The slaw-topped, bun-cradled finished product.

Raised in a very Southern household in a small town outside of Richmond, Virginia, Rachel Albright was the black sheep: “I was the only person in my hometown who cared about fashion and style,” she says. But for her, launching an adorably loud line Academy Jewelry didn’t mean getting the hell out of Dodge: She’s stuck around, making it possible to go on weekly square-dancing outings with her grandmother Nene and to master the matriarch’s secret barbecue recipe (that, er, shared below is secret no more). “It’s a vinegar-style BBQ, and my grandmother loves vinegar—I think I picked that up from her,” Rachel explains. “We’re convinced it’s the secret to health and to square dancing well into your nineties!” 



10-pound pork shoulder or pork butt
1 white onion, diced
6 grabs salt (bigger than a pinch)
3 grabs black pepper
4 grabs paprika
6 glugs of white vinegar*
6 glugs apple cider vinegar*
*A glug is a generous pour. There should be enough white and apple cider vinegar to cover ¾ of the meat. Add another couple glugs if you need more after you flip the meat.

1 head green cabbage, sliced thinly
6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green apples, thinly sliced
3 big spoonfuls mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
2 glugs apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


Take the pork shoulder (or pork butt, whichever is less expensive—we’re not fancy!). Put it in a slow cooker with the diced onion, salt and pepper, paprika, or whatever other spices are lying around. Add white vinegar and apple cider vinegar to cover about ¾ of the meat. Put the heat on low and let it cook all day long—seriously: like 8 or 10 hours. Flip halfway through (if possible) and add more vinegar to taste. When the meat starts falling off the bone, take it out of the pot, pull the remaining meat from the bone, and shred it with your fingers. This should be easy to do because the meat should be tender. 

Next comes the coleslaw, which is just as important as the meat around here. Mix the cabbage, carrot, and apple in a bowl with the mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and other spices if you want a little kick. 

That’s it! The pork is best with coleslaw on potato roll served with, of course, sweet tea.





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