Monday, February 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork
Adapted from Simply Recipes
When Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes first tweeted about her new recipe post, I knew that her Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork was what I wanted to cook on Super Bowl Sunday. I didn't realize that finding a boneless pork shoulder roast on the day before Super Bowl would be so difficult. It did not occur to me that pork shoulder (boston butt) is a popular meat on Super Bowl. My first stop was at Whole Foods Market at $4.99 per pound. The pork shoulder roast was nicely trimmed, tied and roast-ready, but the price was not appealing to me. My second stop was at Sprouts Farmers Market which the pork shoulder roast was completely sold out at $1.99 per pound. I was staring at the empty display thinking that I could of spend half the price, but came too late. My third stop was at Safeway. Also at $1.99 per pound, there were only two packages of boneless pork shoulder remaining. All I can see is 1 inch of fat on both packages. I could feel my arteries clogging just looking at the thick layer of fat going through the meat. It wasn't hard for me to make a decision to return to Whole Foods Market and spend the money for quality meat. That is what I did and ask the butcher for the leanest cut he can find and I was done. That evening, I untie the pork roast as instructed in Elise's recipe. I'm thinking I'm going to find a huge chunk of fat hidden in the center of the meat, but it was pretty lean. Whole Foods Market did great! I did remove a little bit of fat from the roast (after all, it is a pork shoulder), but there were no regrets paying extra for quality meat at Whole Foods Market. And the Mexican Pulled Pork, it turned out delicious! It was tender and full of flavor.
4 tablespoons chili powder (0.5 ounce)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (0.3 ounce)
4 teaspoons kosher salt (0.5 ounce)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/16 teaspoon of ground cloves
4 to 4.25 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast (leanest as possible)
Whisk together the first 12 ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

If the roast is tied up with butcher string, untie it. Remove as much visible fat as possible. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Generously rub the spice mix into the roast all over, reserving any leftover spice mix for later. Place roast in a large plastic bag and refrigerate to marinate in the rub overnight.
The next day, heat a frying pan on medium high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. (If you are using a slow cooker with a removable insert that can be used on the stove top, use that, otherwise use a separate pan.) Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides. Transfer roast to the slow cooker and add any reserved spice rub. Cook on the low setting for 7 to 8 hours, until the pork is fall apart tender.
Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Cut into large chunks. Then use two forks to pull the meat apart into bite-size shreds. Degrease the juice in the slow cooker. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the juice from the roast.
Serve with corn tortillas, pickled red onions, sliced avocados, salsa, Mexican Cabbage Slaw and cilantro.

Time to eat!
Yield 8 servings


  1. I love the addition of smoked paprika! Chipotle powder would be good too. So glad you enjoyed the pulled pork.

  2. Thanks Elise for visiting my site. You're right, chipotle powder will be another great alternative. I'll remember that the next time. Thanks again for this recipe.