I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again, I love my slow cooker. I broke mine out this week, after neglecting it for several months, to make spicy slow cooker pulled pork with salsa verde. I was watching an old episode of Mexican Made Easy, and Marcela Valladolid was making cochinita pibil, a slow roasted pork dish that combines onions, citrus flavors, achiote paste and pork shoulder. She made it in the slow cooker and it looked absolutely delicious when it was finished. It inspired me to make my own version of slow cooked pulled pork.
Cooking confession: Sometimes, giant cuts of meat are intimidating to me. But I promise you, this is so easy and delicious and it makes a ton. We had pulled pork tacos the first night and bbq pork sandwiches the second night and I still have enough for a 3rd meal. Not sure what I’ll do with the leftovers yet. Maybe some tostados or nachos. Anyway, don’t let the big cut of pork shoulder intimidate you. By the way, a pork “butt” is actually the same thing as a pork shoulder. Another cooking confession: For years I did not know this. I’m still not sure why they call a shoulder a butt, but whatever, it’s the same thing. A nice, fatty piece of pork that is perfect for slow cooking and pulled pork dishes.
Spicy slow cooker pulled pork with salsa verde
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1 chipotle pepper, minced, from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus 1 teaspoon of the sauce from the can
1 5-6 lb. pork butt/shoulder, cut into 3 inch chunks, trim off any excess fat
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp black pepper
1 jar of salsa verde (like Goya)
1 can of green chiles
1 bottle of beer
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1. line the slow cooker with the chopped onions and throw in the chipotle pepper and the adobo sauce.
2. In a small bowl, mix the spices (chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper) together. Place the chunks of pork in a large bowl and sprinkle the spice mix over the pork. Using your hands, rub the spices into the pork so that each piece is coated.
3. Add the pork pieces to the slow cooker and pour the salsa verde, green chiles, and beer over the pork. Stir to mix everything.
4. Set the slow cooker to low and let the pork cook for 8 hours.
5. After 8 hours, remove the pork from the liquid to a large baking dish or platter. Using two forks, pull the pork pieces apart. The pork should pretty much fall apart at this point. Ladle 2 or 3 large spoonfuls of the cooking liquid with the onions and salsa verde over the pork so that it stays moist. Discard the rest of the liquid.
6. Sprinkle the cilantro over the pork.
Pulled pork tacos (this was dinner # 1 for us):
Corn tortillas, shredded cheese, cilantro, sliced cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, limes, sour cream
Warm the corn tortillas in the microwave and top them with the shredded pork and your choice of toppings!
BBQ pork sandwiches (dinner # 2 for us):
Hamburger buns, shredded lettuce or cabbage, tomato, sliced red onion, sliced cheese, your favorite bbq sauce, extra chopped cilantro
Top the hamburger buns with the pulled pork, cheese and toppings of your choice. Spread a little of your favorite bbq sauce on the top bun for extra flavor.