Every time I mention pulled pork to someone, they reply with a variation of the same sentence: “I have a great slow cooker recipe where I just add pork and X (root beer, BBQ sauce, etc.) and it comes out amazing!”
I have nothing against these recipes. They work. They create very serviceable shredded pork that fits hectic schedules and tastes pretty decent on a bun with cole slaw.
The main two issues I have with these recipes are 1) the pork becomes a little overcooked and very uniformly textured, and 2) the sauce is extremely sweet, resulting in a lot of sugar intake!
With only slightly more effort, you can make shredded pork that has varied textures, charred edges, smoky-sweet-slightly exotic flavors, and actually tastes like pork and not sugar!
This is my take on a Mexican “mojo” marinade.
A quick zip in the food processor and this sauce is done in less than 5 minutes.
The beautiful pork shoulder! I prefer the “Boston Butt” cut over the “Picnic”. Mine is just over 5 pounds.
Marinade and pork go right into the baking pot. Put it in the oven at 275 for about 7 hours. If it starts to get too browned, turn it down.
When it is done it will be falling apart. The burnt edges are what cause the amazing textures and caramelized flavors. Can’t get that in a slow cooker!
Now you have some delicious shredded pork that you can use for anything! The first night I made shredded pork arepas.
A roasted poblano went perfect with this sandwich.
Making the arepas. The recipe is on the package, don’t worry!
Stuffed with pickled carrots, roasted poblano, and queso cheese. Here's the Shredded Pork Arepa recipe
What else can you do with all this pork? I’m glad you asked! The second night I had this pork in my fridge, I made these little habanero poppers
. You could add a little BBQ sauce and serve it as a slider with homemade pickles
, toss it on a pizza
, in tacos
), in a quesadilla
. Or you could get really creative and put it into a ravioli
or stuffed shells
. I even had pulled pork stuffed into an olive
at a recent tapas dinner I attended!Dan Whalen has been comforted all week with the knowledge that shredded pork was waiting in his fridge. He has been writing recipes for over 3 years on his website The Food In My Beard; check Dan’s Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!