Cuban-style Pulled Pork

This is my absolute favorite pork recipe. I could eat this carnitas-like pulled pork every day. I modified this from some recipe I found online, but can no longer remember where.



1 (8-10 pound) - bone-in Pork Shoulder, make sure it fits into your slow-cooker. Cut to fit if necessary.
1 cup - fresh orange juice
1/3 cup - lime juice (fresh is best)
2 tbsp - olive oil
8x - whole  peeled cloves fresh garlic (or 1 Tablespoon granulated dried garlic)
2 tbsp - ground cumin
2 tbsp - dry oregano leaves
2 tbsp - fresh ground pepper
2 tsp - kosher or sea salt
2 tsp - crushed red pepper flakes
throw some fresh cilantro stems on top (save the tops for the tacos)

Reduction Sauce:

Cooking juices from slow-cooked pork shoulder 
2 tbsp - lime juice
2 tbsp - cider vinegar
1 Tbsp - garlic granules
1 Tbsp - crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp - dried mustard powder
1 Tbsp - dried cumin


Drizzle the olive oil in the slow-cooker bowl.

Place untrimmed pork, fat side down in the bowl then flip fat side up to coast in the olive oil.

Toss garlic cloves in around the roast (or sprinkle with the garlic granules) and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes.

Pour over the orange juice and lime juice around the edges of the roast, toss on cilantro stems.

Cover the slow-cooker, and turn cooker to HIGH.

Allow to cook for 1 hour, turn the heat to LOW and continue cooking for another 6-8 hours or until meat falls apart when prodded with a fork. (This might take more or less time. Feel free to leave your cooker on HIGH for a longer period to reduce overall cooking time.

When the meat is tender, turn off slow cooker. Pull out the pork shoulder and throw it on a cutting board (mine has a juice-catching groove). Try to let the juices drain down into the cooker (we’ll need that later).

Remove the congealed fat around the pork and discard (or use it somewhere else).

Let the meat sit while attending to the pan juices. Pour the cooking juices that surrounded the pork through a fine mesh strainer positioned over a saucepan. Remove and discard any solids left in the strainer.

Add the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried mustard powder to the cooking juices.

Whisk until evenly combined and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Allow to boil until reduced to about one-quarter of the starting volume. You want it to be a somewhat thick BBQ-like sauce when it cools. Set sauce aside.

While the sauce is reducing, shred the pork shoulder. Take as much of the fat out as you can without wasting the delicious meat. Shred the meat into small pieces, it helps to use a fork or two.

Once all the meat is shredded, pour over the reduction sauce, the meat should absorb the sticky sauce easily. Mix the sauce into the meat. Now feast!

This pork is great on tacos and burritos. For a crispier carnitas, throw the shredded pork into a hot cast-iron skillet until browned on the edges.

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