Cuban-style pork shoulder

Cuban-style pork shoulder

One might think I would be excited about the longer, warmer days here in Dallas. And I am, but it’s a little bittersweet, because it means slow cooker season is coming to an end for me. For some reason, I have no interest in the slow cooker during the summer. I like light, clean & refreshing, and it’s tough for the slow cooker to produce a meal with that outcome. So it’s almost time for it to hibernate for a few months.

But before it does, I have one last winning meal for you. It’s worthy of a slow cooker season finale. I promise.

I found this recipe from the LA Times, and it was exactly what I was looking for. The outcome was juicy, flavorful pork shoulder that could easily be served in taco form, but I chose more of a layered dish (rice, beans, pork then avocados & cilantro on top). The result was nothing short of soul warming. Another home run from my best friend, the slow cooker.

Cuban-style pork shoulder (from the LA Times)

9 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground chile pepper
2 dried bay leaves, finely crumbled
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 pounds pork shoulder (I asked the butcher to cut it into cubes for me!)
1 onion
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth

black beans & rice, tortillas, avocados & cilantro (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, black pepper, chili pepper, crumbled bay leaves and orange zest. Stir in the vinegar, orange and lime juices to make a coarse paste. Add the pork pieces and toss until the pieces are evenly coated with the spice paste. Set aside to marinate while you finish the other preparations.

Trim and cut the onion lengthwise into 1/4 -inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices in an even layer on the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Pour the broth over the onions. Arrange the pork in an even layer over the onions, pouring over any reserved marinade.

Cover the insert and place it in the slow cooker. Set the cooker to high heat and cook 4 to 4 1/2 hours until the pork is fork-tender. Remove from heat and crack the lid to allow the mixture to cool slightly. Gently stir the pork with the onions and serve.

Serve with tortillas or over black beans & rice. I like to add avocados to everything, and this was no exception.

Categories: Main Dish, Recipes


  1. This will be my first meal in the slow cooker—I am very excited!! I put everything together last night and putting everything into the slow cooker at lunch. After finishing all my prep work, I noticed that you cut the meat in half and used the same amount of all the other ingredients except the salt…I put in the full two tablespoons of salt…is that going to be an issue??

  2. No worries! I’ve done the same thing once or twice. Just add a sliced potato to the slow cooker, and it will absorb some of the salt. You might also want to add a bit of water to the mix as the potato will absorb the liquid as well.

  3. Mmmmm, thank you so much for this recipe! I have tried it with both pork and beef (chuck roast) and it is fantastic with either! I did it in the oven since my slow cooker is not the best- 300 for 3 hrs, covered tightly with foil.

    Sarah P

Have Something to Say?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *