Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Slow Cooker Kickin' Mexican Pulled Pork

I cannot urge you enough to make this pork. After testing several versions over the past couple of years and doing quite a bit of research, this recipe rose to the top of my list as the tastiest, most-succulent Mexican pulled pork I've ever made.

First of all, utilizing the slow cooker means that the pork has a chance to really break down and become ultra tender {while staying super moist and juicy}.  Also, I now realize that I never quite took the plunge and went all the way with the spices I was using in previous attempts at Mexican pulled pork. I just wasn't heavy-handed enough. I'd sprinkle just a pinch of this and that on the meat, but never really committed to seasoning the pork the way it needed to be seasoned. That all changed with this recipe.

This pulled pork has real depth of flavor ... perfectly-spiced pork perfection. I love the complexity of the spices used. The typical key players of Mexican cuisine like, ground cumin and chili powder are present. But, so are some other spices that you may not expect - a pinch of ground clove and a bit of cinnamon, for example. Massage the spice rub onto the pork the night prior to cooking for maximum flavor impartment. Then, just sear and toss into the slow cooker in the morning.

The result is pure perfection. The pulled pork can be used for tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tostadas or Mexican pizza.

Yields 6 - 8 servings.



3 - 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges


2 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano recommended)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves


The night before you plan to cook the roast, combine the spice mix ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Rub onto pork roast thoroughly. Store spice-rubbed roast in a large plastic storage bag or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in a container and store in refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, sear pork in oil over high heat in a large skillet. Brown well on all sides to achieve a well-seared outer "crust." Transfer roast and any remaining oil from the skillet to the slow cooker. Lid and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or until pork is fall-apart tender. Partway through cooking, add orange and lime wedges into slow cooker after slightly squeezing some of the juice from the fruit over the pork first. {They can be added at beginning of cooking for a more-prominent citrus flavor if desired.}

Transfer pork to a large platter or cutting board. Shred with forks. Discard fat. Return to slow cooker and combine with cooking juices prior to serving. Keep slow cooker on warm until ready to use for tacos or in other Mexican-themed dishes.

Adapted from Simply Recipes.

12/12/17: Updated some photos and made clarifications to recipe/post.

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