I absolutely love the slow cooker, and it is so underused in my kitchen. Especially in the warmer months. We tend to do a whole lot more grilling; who doesn’t? But, the slow cooker is good in the summer too because it doesn’t heat up your kitchen, and you can enjoy the wonderful weather in the evening instead of trying to get dinner on the table at a reasonable time. We’ve all been there.
I saved this recipe about a month ago for several reasons. 1) As mentioned above, I need to use my slow cooker way more. 2) I like the sound of all the ingredients in this recipe. 3) I’m a sucker for any type of pulled pork sandwich. 4) I had a pork shoulder in my freezer that I had purchased on sale a few weeks back calling my name (and this recipe’s name). Normally, I probably would have just made BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with the pork shoulder, but we’re adventurous and wanted to try something a little different. This was perfect.
Everything came together super quickly, and I had everything on hand already – with the exception of a lime. I pretty much always have lemons and limes on hand, but just happened to be out when I was pulling this together. Seeing as though I was doing it before work, I really didn’t have time to run to the store, so I forged ahead without the lime juice. I feel like that was a mistake. The pork was still really tender, moist and delicious, but it seemed like it was lacking a bit of freshness, which I’m sure the lime would have contributed. The cilantro mayonnaise was great! Nate said he didn’t think it added much to the sandwich, but I liked it and it was a change from my usual BBQ and/or hot sauce. When we had leftovers, we added a little mango Habanero hot sauce to our sandwiches and they were awesome! This would be an excellent meal for company on a Friday night so everything is ready to go when you get home from work and you have little prep. You can focus on cleaning those last little places and getting cocktails and appetizers out instead of worrying about the main event!
Slow Cooker Cuban Pork Sandwiches
Source: Adapted from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
For the pork:
1 onion, halved and sliced
3 lb boneless pork shoulder (butt would work, too)
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp dry minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
juice of one lime
hamburger buns. toasted (toasting is optional, but it keeps the bun from getting overly soggy)
For the cilantro mayonnaise:
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lime juice
1. Arrange onions on bottom of slow cooker. Place pork shoulder on top.
2. In a small bowl. combine brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over pork. Pour lime juice and water around pork.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until pork very tender. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for cilantro mayonnaise and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Remove roast from slow cooker and pour liquid into bowl. Return roast to slow cooker and shred with two forks. Skim fat from reserved liquid and pour about 1 cup skimmed liquid over pork.
5. To serve, spread cilantro mayonnaise on one side of the bun and top with pork.