Slow cooker shredded pork is essentially quick and easy bbq pulled pork that’s tender, juicy, and subtly sweet and smoky. It’s made with ancho and chipotle chiles as well as pineapple juice.
A subtle sweet smokiness infuses this slow cooker shredded pork that’s ridiculously easy to toss together and is, essentially, a wintertime way to comfort yourself when you’re craving bbq pulled pork. And, like all good bbq pork recipes, this one makes an ample amount. So chances are, despite everyone going back for seconds and thirds, you’ll probably still have leftovers of this sweetly spiced porcine loveliness. And that’s a good thing. A very, very good thing. As for what to do with the leftovers, we don’t think you’ll have any issues figuring that out, but just in case you’d appreciate a little inspiration, you’ll find some ideas just beneath the recipe. We’d love to hear what you come up with, so kindly let us know in a comment below. Originally published April 28, 2016.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Slow Cooker Shredded Pork
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 12 H
- Makes about 4 cups
- 3 dried ancho chiles, or 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 2 dried chipotle chiles, or 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice (fresh or canned)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- One (3-pound) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus more lime wedges for serving
- 1. If using dried ancho and chipotle chiles, toast the chiles in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. (If the chiles begin to smoke at any point, lower the heat.) Tip the chiles onto a plate and let cool slightly. Wearing gloves, remove and discard the stem and seeds from the chiles and tear the chiles into pieces. Place the pieces in a small bowl, add enough warm water to cover, and let soak until softened but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
If using ancho and chipotle chile powders, hop on down to step 2.
- 2. Toss the soaked chile pieces or chile powders, pineapple juice, garlic, brown sugar, cumin, and cloves in a blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Dump the mixture in your slow cooker. Season the pork quite generously with salt and pepper on all side and then add the pork to your slow cooker and turn to coat it evenly with the chile mixture. Cover and cook until the pork is really tender. Plan on 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
- 3. Transfer the pork to a large bowl and let it cool slightly. Meanwhile, pour the braising liquid into a fat separator or a shallow bowl and set aside for at least 10 minutes to allow the fat to float to the surface.
- 4. Shred the pork into bite-size pieces using a fork in each hand or your fingers, discarding any chunks of fat.
- 5. Skim the fat from the surface of the braising liquid with a spoon and discard. Drizzle about 1 cup defatted braising liquid over the shredded pork and toss to combine. Add more braising liquid if necessary to make the pork moist and flavorful. Squeeze 1 tablespoon lime juice over the pork, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss. Add additional lime juice as desired or pass lime wedges on the side at the table. (The pork and any leftover liquid can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
- Shredded Pork Tostadas
- Brush both sides of several corn tortillas with mild vegetable or olive oil, place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350°F (177°C) until lightly browned at the edges and slightly-but-not-tooth-breakingly crisp, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a 15-ounce can pinto beans and its liquid in a skillet over medium heat, mashing the beans with a potato masher or a fork, until the mixture thickens and is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread some mashed beans over each crisped tortilla, top with some warm shredded pork, and sprinkle with cheese (preferably queso fresco), chopped cilantro, avocado, salsa, and whatever else your desired accoutrements.
- Burritos With Sweet and Spicy Shredded Pork
- Place several large flour tortillas on your work surface and plop some warm shredded pork, a spoonful home-cooked or canned pinto or black beans, some cooked rice, shredded cheese, and fresh cilantro on each tortilla, placing it in a rather tidy mound on the lower half of the tortilla, allowing a 1- to 2-inch border all around. Fold the sides of the tortilla in over the filling, then snugly fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the filling and continue to roll the bulging contents into a burrito shape. Place the burrito, seam side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet, cover loosely with foil, and bake in a 350°F (177°C) oven until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Instant Pot Shredded Pork
- To make this recipe in your Instant Pot, follow the instructions above and allow 9 to 11 hours on the lowest setting.