My main motivation behind this recipe for pulled pork was the Cuban sandwich sliders that I will post about tomorrow. I had my slider as a quesadilla with corn tortillas to keep it GF, but let me tell you, it was all about the filling, and it was so dang good! Come back tomorrow for the slider recipe.
This pork will last you for several meals. Todd and I had it 3 different ways:
- Pulled Pork, with some of the braising liquid; with Napa Cabbage Salad and Roasted Carrots
- Cuban Sandwich Sliders
- Huevos Rancheros with Pulled Pork
I got the idea of this recipe from this one from Tyler Florence. I changed it to work for the method I used. You could absolutely braise this in the crock pot, but it would take longer to cook (closer to 8 hours), and you’d still need to brown it first.
Braised Pulled Pork with Caribbean Flavors
- 3-4 lb pork butt or shoulder*, trussed (tied with kitchen twine for even cooking)
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (could use half lemon juice)
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 300.
Mix together the black pepper, salt, cumin, and oregano and rub evenly over pork. It will seem like you are adding too much seasoning, but completely coat the meat with the dry rub. (You may still have a little of the spice mix leftover).
Heat a Dutch/French oven (something like a Le Creuset large, deep casserole dish) over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the garlic and chili flakes and let cook for a minute. Turn the heat up slightly, and add the pork and brown on each side. If the pan gets too hot and is smoking, turn down the heat.
Once the pork is browned, add the onions and stir them around in the bottom of the pot. Add the citrus juices, bay leaves, and the chicken stock. Spoon some of the liquid over the pork, cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil, and place in the oven. This will take 4 hours to cook. After each hour, baste the pork with some of the liquid.
After the meat has cooked, remove the pork from the pot, and cut off the twine. Shred with two forks. If the meat does not pull apart easily, it needs to cook longer! While pulling the pork, remove the dutch oven from the heat to allow the cooking liquid to cool slightly. Spoon the layer of fat from the top of the braising liquid. If you’re eating the pork immediately, serve it pulled, with some of the braising liquid served on top.
For the Cuban sandwiches, keep the pulled pork in a separate container from the braising liquid. Both will be used for the Cuban sandwich slider recipe.
This may seem like a lot of work, but I promise it is worth it! Any time you cook a whole piece of pork, chicken, beef, etc, you tend to have leftovers for days. I will post the slider recipe tomorrow!
*I recommend buying pork from a trusted source, who doesn’t use hormones and antibiotics, and who is mindful of what their animals are fed. I bought mine this time from Earthfare. Whole Foods is another great option. The best option? A local farmer/farmer’s market who sells pasture-raised pork.
Thank you for reading. If you have any ideas or input for how I can improve on my recipe posting, please share! Or if you follow my blog and would like to see different types of recipes, please leave your ideas in the comments! I always appreciate new inspiration and feedback.