Sunday, October 4, 2009

Slow Cooker Cuban Pork Shoulder (Pulled Pork)

Pulled Pork! Who doesn't like a pulled pork sandwich with Barbeque Sauce, or perhaps also some coleslaw? (North Carolina Style) I've even made pulled pork enchiladas which were out of this world.

But let's face it, it's a hassle to make right? Lot of work? Pain in the butt? (no pun intended)

NOPE! It's really easy. That's what a SLOW COOKER is for.....!

And to boot, this recipe is absolutely delicious! And it's interesting in that you can just make the pork, and serve it with whatever sauce you like, OR, take the drippings from pan, add a few ingredients, reduce the sauce and bake it into the pulled pork. I did this, and amazingly, ate the pork just that way, with no additional sauce, it's THAT good.

Give it a try. You'll thank me. Well, some of you will thank me. Most will make it, enjoy it, and never tell me. But that's ok. I'll know anyway.

Adapted from: Foodie with Family.

5 - 6 pound pork shoulder (Bone-in is tastier)
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
8 peeled cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice

Pour the olive oil into the slow cooker and spread around evenly.

Place the pork shoulder, fat side up, into the slow cooker. Toss in the peeled garlic cloves.

Sprinkle the roast with the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, and cumin. Pour the lime juice and broth around the roast, and pour or spoon the frozen orange juice concentrate onto the top of the roast.

Cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, turn heat down to low and let cook for 12 hours. Check the pork and make sure it is pull-apart tender. Turn off cooker and let cool down and then place to roast in the refrigerator to chill all night long. If your cooker doesn't have the stoneware insert, just place the roast in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Reserve all the liquids.

The next day, remove from refrigerator, place on cutting board, and remove all the exposed chilled fat from the pork and discard. (And the bone if bone-in)

The meat will be easy to pull apart. Use your fingers or two forks and completely separate the pork. At this time you can also chop it with a knife to make more concise pieces.

Now, it's Decision time...... you are done, and could now use the pork in sandwiches, slather with sauce(s), cook in enchilada's or whatever.....

Or, take the next step...... which is to do the following: (Check it out, it's kinda cool)

Drain the reserved pan juices through a strainer or cheesecloth and pour the liquids into a sauce pan.

Add two tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until sauce is reduced by 75%

Place pork in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and pour the reduction sauce all over the pork. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I found the pork to taste SOOOO good with this baked in marinade that I didn't even use any other sauce when eating it.


Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

That's some good looking pork roast. I'm glad you liked the recipe!

Thanks for trying it and the great write up!

The Merlin Menu said...

It's a great recipe. Thank you Rebecca. I love the reduction sauce part of it. The first sandwich I had, I slathered it with BBQ sauce, and it just didn't go with the taste of the pork. In other words, no need for BBQ sauce. Delicious pulled pork recipe.

Katrina said...

I finished this recipe tonight for dinner, and I'm so glad I did. It's delicious and so easy to make! I also took your advice and used the drippings for a reduction. It made all the difference in the world, in my opinion. The flavor was amazing. It really needed no extra seasoning after that. We ate it on top of hamburger buns with french fries on the side. The best part is that I have all this leftover pork to use in other recipes. Thank you for sharing this recipe (Merlin and Foodie)!

Chef John said...

This had me salivating as I read it. But I can't wait for two days. I am going to try and adapt for a pressure cooker. Of course, that may take several attempts so two days is not so long. Thanks for sharing.