Most Excellent Mexican Pulled Pork

It was a happy day in our house when we busted out the slow cooker for its maiden voyage into the Land of Yummy. I’d made this recipe in a large saucepan in the oven a couple of times before and while it was good, it paled in comparison to the slow cooker method. When you can cook meat that long at that low a temperature, it’s bound to be good. (Note: this recipe is easy but you will need to start it early in the day. It’s an nine-hour process when all is said and done.)

Ingredients

3.5lb pork butt (it’s the shoulder. Please don’t go into the store and ask for pork ass. Actually…do that.)
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
2tb vegetable oil
2 diced onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 diced jalapeno (keep the seeds if you want more heat)
3tb chili powder
2ts ground coriander
2 bay leaves
2tb cumin
1/3c tomato paste
1 can (14oz) tomatoes
1/2c cilantro
1 minced green onion

Directions

1. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.

2. In a Dutch oven or large sauce pan, heat the oil to medium-high and sear pork on all sides.

3. Remove pork from pan and set aside on a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and add onions, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder and cumin. Stir occasionally and look for onions to soften and darken slightly, roughly 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir. After 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. The tomatoes should loosen up the tasty bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Make sure they’re incorporated in this delicious concoction.

3a. Make sure you taste your sauce. If you think it needs a little salt or pepper, add it. Remember, though, that the flavours will intensify over the cooking process so aim for balance.

4. Transfer both the pork and sauce to the slow cooker. Set it to low for four hours. At four hours, turn the pork over and stir the sauce. Reset the timer for another four hours.

5. At the eight hour mark, remove the pork from the slow cooker, set aside in a large bowl and cover.  Let stand for 10 minutes and then shred with two forks. Meanwhile, return the sauce to the pan/Dutch oven and skim off the fat. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 20 minutes in order to thicken. Return the now-shredded pork to the sauce. Sprinkle final product with cilantro and green onion.

6. EAT IT, ALREADY. You’ve been waiting for eight hours and there are probably people with forks who are closing in on you with a hungry look in their eyes.


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