Summer Slow-Cooker Recipe: Havana Braised Sour Orange Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Cuban Pork_Lisa Dupar

Think slow cooker meals are just for winter? Think again! Slow cookers are the perfect way to get a delicious meal on the table without spending your entire day in the kitchen. Here’s one of our favorite recipes for you to try at home this summer!

Our fearless leader, Chef Lisa Dupar, took this recipe as a personal challenge when a friend of hers said he had never had a better Cuban sandwich than the one he had in Miami. Pro tip: if you ever want to get a chef to move their butt, tell them the best whatever you’ve eaten was elsewhere. They will smile at you, wait until you’re gone and go try to “better” what you just described.

This is the perfect summertime sandwich – it’s easy to make, full of flavor, and delicious! South Florida, Yucatan, and the Caribbean have wonderful, “sour oranges.” Since we couldn’t get them in Seattle, we took Meyer lemons and oranges and the combined juices recreated the sour orange for this braise.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. pork shoulder
  • seasoning salt or salt and pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion – medium dice
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic – peeled – about 10 whole cloves
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Meyer lemon cut in half, you can used preserved lemon if not in season
  • 1 large orange, peel zest with potato peeler and leave in big strips, save the juice 
  • 2/3 cup white wine 1 1/3 cup chicken stock

Directions:

  • Season the pork shoulder with your favorite seasoning salt or salt and pepper
  • Heat a heavy pot with olive oil. Sear and brown every side of the pork shoulder. Pull the roast out of the pan and set aside.
  • In a 5-to-6 quart slow cooker, combine onions, garlic cloves, thyme, cumin, oregano and bay leaves.
  • Add pork and turn to coat completely.
  • Add the Meyer lemon, orange peel with juice, white wine, and chicken stock into the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on medium-high until meat is pull-apart tender, about 6 hours. Transfer pork to a bowl; shred with two forks. Return pork to pot, and toss with sauce. Discard bay leaves.
  • Jus: Strain and save the jus for serving alongside the sandwich and pour over the braised pork dish.
  • At this point, you can have a beautiful sour orange braised pork dinner, unless you too feel challenged to re-create the “perfect” street Cuban sandwich…continue on…

The Cuban:

  • Split a soft, squishy, freshly baked oval roll in half and spread yellow American mustard, 4 oz. sliced braised pork shoulder, 2 oz. sliced ham, 1 slice of gruyere cheese, and thinly sliced dill pickles.
  • Press together and place in Panini machine and “grill” until crispy on both sides and somewhat flattened or in a non-stick skillet with some pressure on top of the sandwich as it browns. Serve a little bowl of the reduced jus with the sandwich.