Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I often exchange recipes with friends and one of my go-to recipes comes from one of those exchanges. A few years ago a friend gave me a recipe for Pork Barbacoa. I wasn't sure where he got it originally but after some research (thanks Internet) it looks like he got it from the What's Cookin, Chicago? blog.

The pulled pork is great for tacos which is the original reason I started making this dish. But it's also great in sliders with cole slaw or with some beans and rice.


This recipe is quite easy, all you need is time. Since it's made in a slow cooker you can get it started, go off and run some errands, come back for step 2, and then leave again and do something else. Depending on the size of the pork shoulder you should plan on at least 10 hours of cooking time. I once made a 7-pound, bone-in pork shoulder and that took closer to 15 hours. You need to use your judgement - the meat should literally fall off the bone.

For the sliders I made a simple cole slaw and piled it with the pulled pork on soft potato rolls. I served them with some of the dilly beans I made last summer. For a little extra flavor I mixed the pulled pork with a little bottled barbecue sauce - entirely optional but I wanted to change it up a bit.


For the tacos I served the pork on toasted corn tortillas (I've also made them with flour tortillas), topped with a quick red onion pickle, crumbled cotija cheese (you could also use queso fresco), and cilantro.

And if you find that you've made more pulled pork than you expected, it also freezes well to use at a future date.

Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

adapted slightly from What's Cookin, Chicago?

5-6 pound pork shoulder / pork butt (with or without the bone)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 cup brown sugar
1 12-ounce bottle La Victoria taco sauce (or your favorite taco sauce)
1 20-ounce bottle Coke

If the pork shoulder has a thick fat cap and/or skin, score the fat to allow the flavors to reach the meat. Place pork shoulder in a slow cooker with the garlic and onion. Add enough water to reach halfway on the roast. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Drain water and add the remaining ingredients. Cook 4-6 more hours on low. (Note: time may need to be adjusted depending on size of roast and whether or not it contains the bone.)

Shred pork and serve with in tacos, sliders, or rice and beans.




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