Monday, October 3, 2011

RECIPE: Slow Cooker Cuban Pork

Okay, fair warning: This is a two-step recipe. I suppose you could just throw everything in the slow cooker, but it's extra-awesome if you marinate it for a few hours, so I recommend going the extra mile on this one. It's worth it.

Here's what I used. Check the bottom of this post for substitutions if you can't get some Papa Joe's in time, or if you want to make it easier.
  • 1-2 lbs. pork loin (I like boneless)
  • 1 Tbsp. Papa Joe's Salt*
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 3 oranges**
  • 2 limes

Step 1: Marinade. Stab the pork with a grilling fork or any other poking device you have lying around. 

Um, I look like I'm slaying vampires, yuck. I hate when meat looks like meat!

Anyway. Once you've gotten the stabbies out of your system, throw the pork in a Ziploc bag with the Papa Joe's salt, oregano, and cumin. And then squeeze the holy crap out of the oranges and limes. (I was in a perfectly good mood when I made this, so I don't know why every step of the recipe seems like a de-stressing exercise.) Put the mix in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight. Whatever.

Step 2: Cook. Dump the contents of the Ziploc bag into your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Just a note, feel free to use less of the Papa Joe's. Hubby and I strongly disagreed on whether it tasted salty. So, adjust to taste. 

I think this would be awesome on a sandwich with cheese, honey mustard, and pickles. Or in a quesadilla. Just sayin'!

* Papa Joe's salt is a mix of salts, pepper, and garlic. It's amazing and does magic things to steamed vegetables -- for example, it makes me eat them :)  Sweet serendipity, their HQ is apparently a whopping nine blocks from my house. But if you're not local, you can order it through their website. And if you don't have time to order it, just mix together some sea salt or seasoning salt, ground pepper, and garlic, so the mixture totals a tablespoon. 

** Feel free to use the squeezy lime and/or regular old orange juice. Not sure why I went so gung-ho with the fresh fruit. I'd guesstimate that 2 Tbsp of squeezy lime juice and 1/4 cup of orange juice would do the trick.


  1. Wow this looks delicious and easy! Putting this on my list to do next week! I hope I can find some Papa Joe's 'round here.

  2. mmmm... sorta like carnitas? totally gonna try this next week too, i have pork in the frezer :) yummm!

  3. I prepared this last night and I have it question is that is the marinade enough liquid for this to cook in?

  4. Yep, I just dumped the bag with the pork and marinade into the slow cooker -- nothing extra!

  5. I marinated the pork loin overnight. Since my crock pot runs hot and it had to cook for 8 hours (on low), I decided to doubled the amount of liquid suggested. There was probably an 1/8 inch of "sauce" left at the bottom, glad I doubled the liquid. My husband said it was still dry. The pork loin I got was thin and long. I made sure to puncture the meat thoroughly, too. Your pork loin pictured looks nice and thick. I am just surprised that he said it was actually dry. I told him I would play with the recipe if I make it again.

  6. Hi, I am the owner and creator of Papa Joe's Salt. You can order a shaker of Papa Joe's Salt on my website It's an easy webstore using Pay Pal. Thank you Kara for posting this recipe!! :)

  7. Well, thanks for making salty magic :) I'm seriously addicted to that stuff!

  8. And Jami -- make sure you buy a THICK shoulder or butt -- I've made the mistake of buying a center cut before (they all look the same, i.e. gross) and it was a bit tougher and wouldn't shred. Do you have a crock with more than one setting? Cooking low and sloooow is the key!

  9. ...Boston butt, I mean...which is still near the shoulder...the actual butt of the pig is ham :)