If you know me at all, you know that I love love loooooove pork. Particularly pulled pork.
The melt-in-your-mouth texture is absolutely heavenly, and there is no question that I will eat it every day whenever it is in the house. If it’s rubbed with chili and slow cooked, or smoked for the most incredible taste, I will love it forever.
The first time I had a Cuban mojo-style pork, I was at a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant here in Denver. I was nestled back at a small table with an acquaintance, and let’s just say, the dinner was going super awkwardly.
So, I threw myself into the menu and decided to try something new that I hadn’t tried before. There it was – mojo pork.
When it came out, I felt like my dinner had taken a big turn for the better. There it was, the glistening meat with little pieces of crisp crust. It was juicy and succulent, with hits of garlic and citrus.
I quickly discovered that the tenderness of the meat was my favorite aspect of this dish, and I just couldn’t stop shoveling it into my mouth.
Since then, I will crave this recipe from time to time. Okay, I crave it a lot. But my husband isn’t the biggest fan of the prospect of eating the same meat every single night for the rest of his life…
Obviously, he’s crazy. Right?
With minimal prep, you will get hooked on this slow cooker Cuban mojo pork. All the classic flavors are there, and it’s utterly succulent.
The best part is, this recipe is so easy to make. All you need is a slow cooker to make this incredible main dish, or an electric pressure cooker if you want make it even more quickly. Instructions for both cooking methods are provided in the Cooking by the Numbers section below. For more info on cooking pork, can read my tutorial on cooking pork shoulder in the electric pressure cooker.
This dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner, but it’s also excellent to serve at large gatherings. You can even make this ahead of time, and eat it all week long in different ways for lunches.
I love to use the leftovers in tacos or quesadillas. It can be stirred into soups, or it can be piled high on sandwiches.
There’s an endless amount of options to make this Cuban pork new and different as you eat your way through a big batch.
A few notes on the recipe…
- If you want to go one step further, you can carefully place the cooked pork on a baking sheet and roast it at 400˚F for about 15 minutes before serving, until the exterior forms a crispy crust.
- There are a few different types of cooking oils that you can use, including olive, avocado, or grapeseed, depending on your dietary preferences. All have high smoke points, a bonus if you intend to crisp up the meat in the oven after slow cooking.
- Make sure that you are always using fresh citrus. You’ll need fresh fruit for the zest, and you will also need it for the juice. Using store bought, pre-packaged juice tends to have added preservatives and a less vibrant flavor, and is therefore lacking the bright acid notes you want in this meaty dish.
- Sour orange (also known as bitter, or Seville) is typically used in a mojo recipe, but this fruit isn’t commonly found in the produce section of the grocery store (in the US, at least). That’s why you see a blend of lemon, lime, and orange in this recipe. You get the sweet and sour citrus flavors that you want, without having to worry about tracking down the sour orange. But feel free to use it instead, if you can find it!
Are you hungry yet? Let’s cook!Print
Easy slow cooker Cuban mojo pork is a fun twist on traditional pulled pork that comes together easily. The citrusy flavor is bold and bright.
- 2 Tbsp orange zest (zest from 1 medium orange)
- 1 tsp fresh lime zest (zest from 1 medium lime)
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (juice from 1 medium orange)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 medium lemon)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from 2 medium limes)
- 2 Tbsp oil (olive, avocado, or grapeseed)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 medium mild onion, diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 3–4 lbs bone-in pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Whisk together the citrus zest and juice, oil, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, and onion in a small bowl.
- Place pork roast in the slow cooker and puncture it 4-6 times with a sharp knife.
- Pour citrus sauce over the top.
- Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on Low, or until pork is completely cooked. Remove the bone from the slow cooker, and remove all of the meat from it. Discard the bone. Use two forks to shred the pork roast in the slow cooker, or transfer to a cutting board, shred, and add back to the cooker. Stir to combine with the sauce and onions.
- Serve with white rice and black beans.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Category: Meat
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Dinner
Keywords: slow cooker, pork, Cuban cuisine, dinner, pulled pork
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Using a zester or microplane, zest a medium-sized orange and a medium-sized lime.
Juice one medium orange, one medium lemon, and two medium limes. Remove any seeds.
Peel and dice a mild onion. I like to use a yellow onion, but you can also use a mild white onion for this recipe.
Trim any excess fat off the pork shoulder, using a sharp knife.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed.
Step 2 – Make Sauce
Add the citrus zest and juice, oil, all of the spices, and the onion to a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Step 3 – Slow Cook
Add the pork roast to your slow cooker insert. Puncture it about 4-6 times with a sharp knife.
Pour the citrus sauce over the top.
Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on Low, until the meat is cooked through completely. The meat should register 190-195˚F on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, without touching the bone.
If you would like, you can also make this recipe in an electric pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot. Cover and cook on Manual Pressure on High for 90 minutes. Quick release pressure, and continue to the next step.
Step 4 – Shred and Serve
Remove the bone from the pork shoulder. The meat will be so tender that it falls right off the bone.
Use two forks to shred the pork.
Stir the pork into the sauce to thoroughly coat and combine.
Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker?
If you’ve ever used a slow cooker versus an electric pressure cooker, you know the truth… for recipes like this one, the result is generally the same. For this easy mojo pork, either option in terms of cooking method will be equally delicious.
I know there are some of you out there who think there might be a difference, but I am here to assure you there really isn’t. But what does this mean?
It gives you options! You can start this recipe when you leave for work, or you have the option to quickly pull it together at the end of the day.
Trust me, the latter happens a lot on my life because I constantly forget to put the ingredients in the slow cooker at the beginning of the day… But I can still get dinner on the table when I get home, thanks to the versatility of my favorite cooking appliances.
If you do need more detailed instructions on using an electric pressure cooker, our recipe for Instant Pot Pulled Pork is exactly what you should read!
Will you cook this recipe in a slow cooker or your electric pressure cooker? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you’ve tried it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 15, 2012. Last updated: May 20, 2021 at 16:37 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.