Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Slow Cooker Kickin' Mexican Pulled Pork

I cannot urge you enough to make this pork! Seriously. I think this is perhaps the tastiest, most-succulent Mexican pulled pork I've ever made. And, I must give credit where credit is due. I adapted the recipe from Elise over at Simply Recipes. I had been searching for a new pulled pork recipe to use in tacos and other Mexican-themed dishes for quite some time. I have a couple of my own recipes that I use - one favorite in our house is my Green Chile and Lime Pulled Pork. But, I wanted something different and with some real depth of flavor ... I wanted perfectly-spiced pork perfection!


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.

The result is pure perfection. Besides the magnificent medley of spices, there are a few other important components to this recipe. The overnight dry rub step is crucial. Searing the pork very well before starting it in the slow cooker is a must. And, cooking this low and slow is vital. The pulled pork can be used for tacos, enchiladas, tostadas or Mexican pizza.

Yields 6 - 8 servings.


Ingredients:

FOR THE PORK -

3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (strings removed if tied)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

FOR THE SPICE MIX -

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

Directions:

The night before you plan to cook the roast, combine the spice mix ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Rub them onto the pork roast thoroughly. You may have a little rub leftover - reserve for use once roast goes into the slow cooker the following day.  Store spice-rubbed roast in a large plastic storage bag or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in a container and store in fridge overnight.

In the morning, sear pork in the oil over high heat in a large skillet. Brown well on all sides to achieve a good, seared outer "crust." Transfer roast and any remaining oil from the skillet to your slow cooker. Sprinkle in any remaining rub. Lid and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or until pork is fall-apart tender.

Transfer pork to a large platter or cutting board. Shred with forks. Return to slow cooker and combine with cooking juices prior to serving. If there isn't much cooking liquid, add in a little hot water or stock to keep pork moist. Keep slow cooker on warm until ready to use for tacos or in other Mexican-themed dishes.

 

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