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This variation on pulled pork highlights flavors from Mexico, with a touch of the Yucatán. It’s one of my favorites for Slow Cooker Sunday (possibly the best day of the week after Taco Tuesday). The tart flavor of the tomatillos balances the earthy, slightly smoky achiote spice; the sweet-sour orange juice balances the spicy jalapeños. They all merge with the richness of the pork shoulder to make something really delicious and laid-back. This spicy pulled pork is great on toasted French or ciabatta rolls, served with pickled red onions, or piled in warmed tortillas topped with queso fresco and chopped cilantro.

Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

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Ingredients
  • 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (pork butt), twine or netting removed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 4 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (3-1/2-ounce) package Achiote Rojo, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, quartered
Instructions
  1. Place the pork, cumin, jalapeños, orange juice, garlic, onion, Achiote Rojo, and salt in the pot of a seven-quart slow cooker. Spread everything around evenly.
  2. Evenly spread the tomatillos on top of the other ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for eight to nine hours, or on high for four to five hours, till the pork is fall-apart tender. When ready, remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  4. Scoop out about half of the juices, skim most of the fat, and set the liquid aside. Return the meat to the pot and shred it with the remaining juices. If the meat is too dry, simply add more of the reserved cooking liquid. Make sandwiches or tacos and enjoy!

El Yucateco Achiote Paste, $3.99 on Amazon

Annatto seeds lend flavor and vibrant orange color to this seasoning paste.
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For more tips, tricks, and pointers, see our Ultimate Guide to Pulled Pork. And because you’re bound to have leftovers—and sometimes you get tired of even the Best Pulled Pork Sandwich—get inspired by 11 Pulled Pork Recipes That Aren’t Sandwiches.

More in the mood for poultry? Check out our Slow Cooker Sunday Shredded Chicken Menu.

And Chowhound’s Ultimate Guide to Slow Cooking is a great resource to get you started using your Crock Pot (or using it more often).

Photos and styling by Chris Rochelle

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