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Tender Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork is full of garlic and citrus flavors. It's a simple dump-and-go recipe that marinates in a Cuban mojo sauce in the crock pot. And the leftovers make the best Cuban sandwiches ever!
Pulled pork is such an amazing dish and can be made in so many ways. Some of our other favorites are Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Asian Pulled Pork Sliders, and Crispy Mexican Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas!
I'm kind of obsessed with slow cooked pulled pork. It's the juiciest, easiest way to prepare pork shoulder or pork butt, I think, and it's so versatile in how to use the meat. You can obviously eat it piled on a plate with white rice, black beans, and fried ripe plantains (maduros) on the side, which is what you might find in Florida or Cuba.
But it's also amazing piled on soft rolls, wrapped into tortillas for burritos, added to soups and salads, or used to top cheese-covered tortilla chips for some of the best nachos of your life.
Slow cooker cuban mojo pork is one of the recipes I'm sharing to represent Florida in my American Eats series, where I'm exploring the flavors of each state in the good old U.S.A., one state at a time. And you're going to need it for the cuban sandwiches (cubanos) that I will be sharing next!
What is Cuban Mojo Sauce?
So, if you are wondering about this funny name and why this is called "mojo" pork, it's all because of the sauce that the pork marinates in while cooking in the slow cooker. Cuban mojo sauce (pronounced MOH-hoh, not MOH-joe) comes from Cuba but is also used in Spanish and Portuguese cuisines, with some small variations.
It's typically made with sour oranges, which grow wild in parts of Florida and the Bahamas. Fortunately, it's easy to mimic the flavor of sour or bitter oranges using fresh squeezed orange and lime juices, since most of us don't have access to actual sour oranges.
The other main ingredients in cuban mojo sauce are lots of garlic, cumin, oregano, cilantro, mint, and olive oil. There is not a lot of mint and it isn't in all mojo sauce recipes, but I love it and think it adds a wonderful, subtle flavor quality with everything else.
Not only does this Cuban mojo sauce act as a fantastic marinade, but it can also be used as a dip or sauce. I like to reserve a little of the mojo sauce to drizzle over the finished pork along with some of the pork juices that cook off, just to boost the flavor of the finished meat.
Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork Recipe
This really is such an easy recipe to make in the morning and have dinner pretty much ready when you want it in the evening. Just pulse all the mojo sauce ingredients together in a blender or food processor and pour it over the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, cover it, and walk away. Pork butt works just as well.
You can brown the pork shoulder first on all sides if you want to, but it's not necessary. Although like with my Mexican pork carnitas, I like to finish this slow cooker Cuban mojo pork in the oven just to get a little bit of crust on the top, which is pretty much impossible to do in the slow cooker.
Just carefully transfer the finished pork roast to a baking sheet and pop it in a 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes at the end of cooking in order to crisp up the top a bit. Afterwards, use two forks to pull the roast apart into chunks for Cuban pulled pork.
Tips for Cuban Mojo Pork
- Set aside a little bit of the Cuban mojo sauce before pouring the rest of it over the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. I like to keep about ⅓ cup separate, which I then mix with an equal amount of the pork drippings at the end to drizzle over the shredded pork for an extra boost of flavor.
- You can thicken the drippings in the slow cooker, if you like, by making a slurry of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Then stir the slurry into the slow cooker in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Don't open the lid while the pork shoulder is cooking, even though it will be tempting because of the amazing smell. This can result in the loss of moisture and heat. Try your best to just leave it alone until the end of the cooking time.
- You can marinate the pork in the mojo sauce for 12 hours ahead of time if you want. Sometimes it's easier to make the mojo sauce the night before and just have everything ready to go in the fridge. That way you aren't pulling out the food processor or blender in the morning. I don't feel like it adds a ton of extra flavor since really the pork is marinating the whole time it cooks in the mojo sauce, but it certainly doesn't hurt either.
- Go full Cuban/Florida for this meal and have pastelitos de guayaba (guava cream cheese Cuban pastries) for dessert!
I always do my best to research recipes from other cultures thoroughly to represent them as best I can. If this recipe is from your country or culture and you have suggestions for how I can improve its authenticity, please let me know in the comments below! It's important to us to share beloved foods of other cultures with as much accuracy as possible, while also considering things like accessibility of ingredients and ease of preparation for most home cooks.
More Slow Cooker Roast Recipes You'll Enjoy
- Crock Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
- Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Crispy Mexican Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef
- Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb
- Authentic German Sauerbraten Recipe
Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork
- 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder or pork butt
- 8 cloves garlic
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Zest of 1 orange
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 cup cilantro finely chopped
- ¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients except for the pork shoulder and pulse until everything is finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor or blender, just finely chop the herbs and mince the garlic, then combine everything in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside about ⅓ cup of the mojo sauce for later and keep it in the fridge while the pork cooks.
- Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and pour the mojo sauce over it. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours.
- When the pork is fully cooked and tender, carefully transfer it to a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes until browned on top. While doing this, you can thicken the cooking juices remaining in the slow cooked using a slurry made from 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water, if desired. Just stir it in, cover, and cook on HIGH for 20-30 minutes while browning the pork and shredded it.
- Pull the Cuban mojo pork apart using two fork or just by chopping with a large knife a few times to break it up into tender chunks. Drizzle with reserved mojo sauce, if desired, and serve with the remaining juices from the slow cooker.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Montana • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin