Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cuban Pulled Pork: Next to Bacon

If you have been reading our blog for any length of time, it probably won't shock you when I suggest that pulled pork ranks exceedingly high on our "OMG" list.   The fact of the matter is, it's the next closest thing to bacon in my book.

Cuban pork also happens to have a special place in Lo's heart. For years, Lo's friend Gail taunted her with stories about her mother's delicious empanadas.  She shared recipes for her fool-proof flank steak, mango bread, and the always memorable Psycho Chicken.  She taught Lo to make a great pot of beans.  She also introduced Lo to the concept of marinating pork in orange juice, lime, and garlic -- which, if you've never tried it, is an absolute miracle.

So, when Lo stumbled upon Rebecca from Foodie with Family's recipe on Facebook, I knew it was only a matter of time before we'd be indulging in this wonderful Cuban variation on pulled pork.

We didn't use a roast as mentioned in the original recipe since we already had some country style pork ribs in the fridge just begging to be used. We suspect that the fact that the meat was cut up into pieces assisted in intensifying the deliciously citrusy flavor of the meat since we were able to layer the seasonings in between each piece of meat, thereby increasing the surface area that was exposed to the orange-garlic deliciousness.

Yes, the recipe is a process.  But, no, it doesn't require a great deal of hands-on time.  It simply requires a bit of patience... and maybe some self-control, since the smell that emanates from that slow cooker is bound to drive you a little bit insane.

This pork is so tender, so flavorful that you just might not know exactly what to do with it first.  But, trust us when we say that, once you taste it, you'll have no hesitation in finding ways to get it into your belly!

Might we suggest the first night to simply wrap a bit of that luscious meat in a warm corn tortilla and have a side of black beans and rice? Maybe the next night, you could make a pizza with pork, jack cheese, and some refried beans... Or throw together a nice pulled pork panini with plenty of deliciously creamy cheese, as we did.
Of course, if you tire of eating pulled pork every night of the week, you should also be assured that it freezes impeccably, so you can always save it and recreate the perfection that is pulled pork all over again some other time.  And doesn't that sound awesome?

So, pour your margaritas (I have a recipe I'll share with you later this week) or Cuban Sidecars and enjoy this delicious Cuban pork however you desire.

Cuban Pork
Suggested listening: Buena Vista Social Club 

Revised to include a quick note for those of you thinking of making this recipe: Pay attention to DAY 2 of the recipe, and don't skip the additional finishing sauce!  The addition of the pork sauce reduction to the meat really ramps up the flavor of this dish. 

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Want more? Read Lo's latest ruminations at FOODCrush, her Milwaukee Magazine blog.


  1. Pulled pork is probably the sole reason why I could never ever become a vegetarian. It's just too mind blowing. I am definitely going to have to try this variation on it!

  2. OMG, I don't know which to try first... the Cuban Pulled Pork or the Cuban Sidecar! Have you tried the carnitas from Serious Eats?

  3. nice post! i agree that the OJ/garlic marinade really amps up the pork.

  4. This post was obviously written by Peef (or at least the title). These dishes look really good. Like to the point where I want some for breakfast today!

  5. Woo! Thanks for the shout out! I'm so glad you liked it. There is something magical about the orange juice, lime juice, garlic combo with pork, isn't there?

    ...Psst. This pork goes exceptionally well as the roast pork component of a Cuban sandwich, too. :-)

  6. I've made Rebecca's Cuban pork many times, but have never thought to put it on a panini. LOVE. Must do that next time!

  7. I adore pulled pork! Made some recently, but this post is making me want it again, and no pasture raised pork to be had!

  8. This is one I totally want to make!

  9. Pulled pork oh so yummy! I checked out the recipe, marvelous! Orange juice is the perfect addition to lime and garlic if you ask me. I'm definitely going to try this one. Thanks for sharing the link :)

  10. We were out at friends for dinner over the weekend and they had pulled pork, and the chef wouldn't share his recipe and it was wonderful. Thanks for your recipe to try, wouldn't that be crazy if it was your recipe, I think we will have to see. And didn't know you could actually freeze pulled pork, very good to know, thanks again.

  11. You can never go wrong with pig! This looks great!!!


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