Monday, January 2, 2012

Crockpot Lechon (Pulled Pork) with Cuban Mojito Sauce

It’s a New Year! Hallelujah.

2011 was an interesting year to say the least. So many ups and downs:Β the birth of my beautiful niece, fun times traveling (Orlando, Atlanta, and New Orleans) and growing this lil old blog, an incredibly frustrating trying to conceive (ttc) journey, the excitement of my first pregnancy, followed byΒ the devastating loss of our baby, then more ttc frustration and seeing seemingly everyone around me get pregnant, then to round out the year an exciting new job for the hubs – talk about an emotional roller coaster!

Though the year was filled withΒ heartache & a lot of tears (and of course the subsequent added pounds that came along with it hah), we are also able to look back and see the many blessings and provisions over the course of the last 365 days. However, I couldn’t be happier that 2012 is here. It’s a new year. A fresh start. Hopefully a better year…

We started the new year out with one incredible meal… hopefully setting the tone for 2012 πŸ˜‰

The hubs’ is a Georgia boy with deeply southern family roots. Each New Year, you MUST eat pork, collard greens, and black eyed peas. It’s a MUST. Oh, and you can’t do laundry (one tradition I am HAPPY to oblige) hah. Now, I technically grew up farther south than the hubs (geographically speaking), but South East Florida isn’t exactly “southern”. We are more of an ecclectic melting pot with a lot of spanish influence.

So this New Year’s meal, was a mix of my upbringing and a mix of the hubs’ upbringing! Southern meets Cuban inspired New Years: Lechon with Mojito sauce (topped with fresh onion and a squeeze of lime juice), pressed cuban bread, collard greens, black beans and rice {don’t worry Grandma, I made the black eyed peas too for Mike! πŸ™‚ }, and sweet PLANTAINS (my fav!).

Before our Christmas/New Year’s break, I talked to my Cuban co-worker (shout-out to Nancita!) about making lechon & authentic mojito sauce and she gave me all the tips and pointers I needed before I got started (thank you!!!).

Let, me tell you… this meal turned out IN.CRED.IBLE. The pork was so tender and flavorful. And the sauce?! Oh my goodness… THE SAUCE. I. could. literally. drink. it. Garlicky/Oniony, limey, AMAZING. This meal will be my standard New Year’s Day meal from here on out! It was out of this world good!

I’m typically not a big pork person (other than bacon – I looovvve me some bacon), but this lechon makes me want to eat pork every day. Need a new take on pork!? MAKE THIS ASAP. Have a taste of Cuba in your kitchen – it’s AMAZING!!!!!

Oh, and if you missed them:

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Crockpot Lechon (Pulled Pork) with Cuban Mojito Sauce

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours + 5 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Tender, fall off the bone, Cuban style pulled pork! Marinade the meat the night before if possible, but if you can't, that's okay too!


For the Lechon:
5 - 5 1/2 lb pork butt
1 onion, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic
1 cup mojo sauce (found in the marinade aisle - I used Publix, but I also recommend Badia brand)
2 limes, juiced
salt & pepper

For the Mojito Sauce:
1/2 onion (about 3/4 cup), minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 limes, juiced
3/4 cups canola oil
salt & pepper



For the Lechon:
Poke holes all over the pork using a small paring knife. Place the pork into a large gallon sized ziplock bag. In a food processor, add the onion and garlic and pulse until minced. Add the mojo sauce, lime juice, and a large pinch of salt and pepper, and process until well combined. Pour mixture over the pork in the ziplock bag. Press air out as best you can, and seal. Marinade for a few hours (preferably the night before, if possible).

Spray the bowl of a large Crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Place pork butt (fat side up) in the Crockpot, and pour entire contents of the bag over it. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 hours (you can let it go longer if you are at work or out and about - this stuff will not dry out!). When ready to eat, carefully pull pork out of the liquid (it will fall apart) and place on a cutting board. Remove extra fatty pieces and shred the pork with 2 forks (it will basically shred itself it's so tender!). Place on a large serving platter and garnish with lime wedges. Serve with additional chopped onions, lime wedges, and mojito sauce (instructions below).

For the Mojito Sauce:
Add minced onion and minced garlic to a heat proof bowl. Heat canola oil in a pan until bubbly hot (put the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil and when it bubbles around it, it's ready!). Carefully pour hot oil over the onions and garlic a little at a time (stirring in between). You should hear it sizzle as it cooks the raw garlic and onions, and it will smell AMAZING!!! Last, squeeze the juice of 2-3 limes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well and serve warm over lechon (make sure each person stirs well before spooning it over their lechon - it separates as it sits)!


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49 Responses to “Crockpot Lechon (Pulled Pork) with Cuban Mojito Sauce”

  1. 1

    christin — January 2, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    I hope 2012 is better for you both! I know how trite this sounds, but everything happens for a reason and you’re now a stronger person because of it! On a lighter note, this recipe looks amazing and I must make it!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

      Thanks Christin πŸ™‚

  2. 2

    nat@thesweetslife — January 2, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    i cannot wait to try this! i made pulled pork for NYE (balsamic–SO yum!) and an now officially on a pork kick! πŸ™‚

    here’s to a great 2012 for you!!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

      same to you, Nat!

  3. 3

    Bev Weidner — January 2, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    This is a GLORIOUS way to start the new year. Holy cow.

  4. 4

    Kathryn — January 2, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Oh this sounds so wonderful, I love pork and this looks like just the best way to eat it!

    And I really hope that 2012 brings you every happiness. This is a perfect way to start.

  5. 5

    mom — January 2, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    I second that this was an AMAZING meal! The flavor was incredible and it is definitely a repeat! Great job as always Tina! It was a great ending to a really fun week. We covered a lot of miles in a few days…now back to reality and onto 2012 as you said….Praying it’s a wonderful year for you πŸ™‚

  6. 6

    Cassie — January 2, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    Mouth is watering. Love this. You had me at mojito!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:42 pm


  7. 7

    Maria — January 2, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    What a meal! Very nice. Happy New Year to you! xoxo

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

      same to you Maria!!

  8. 8

    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — January 2, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    This looks amazing! I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

  9. 9

    Eva @ 1 Big Bite — January 2, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    Happy new year!
    I got some left over pulled pork laying around, so all I needed was a yummy sauce. Thank you for the recipe, I am trying it later today.

  10. 10

    Julie @ Table for Two — January 2, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    Mouthwatering!! I need to make this sometime πŸ™‚ crockpot recipes are my favorite! I hope you have a great 2012!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

      thanks love – you too!

  11. 11

    DessertForTwo — January 2, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    After drooling over this on Instagram, I’m so happy to see the recipe here!

    I’m with you–2012 is going to be a better, bright happy year full of love πŸ™‚

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

      thanks girl!

  12. 12

    India Strivingforsuccess Wardell — January 2, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    Okay this looks FANTASTIC! Can you add the recipe for the entire meal, PLEASE!!! Cuban bread, beans and rice, fried plantains, and your greens, Please!!!!

  13. 13

    Molly — January 2, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    Ummm YUM. I may or may not have to try this out! xo

  14. 14

    Leslie — January 2, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    Thats pretty much how I make my pulled pork too! It’s the best! I am sure this year will be a better one for you…I can feel it!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

      great minds think alike πŸ˜‰ Thanks Leslie!

  15. 15

    Jenny @ Savour the Senses — January 2, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

    What a great twist on pulled pork! I am adding this to the list of thing to try!

  16. 16

    Josie — January 2, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

    Ooooh yum this looks so good! I love plantains too, so I know I’ll include them as a side WHEN I make this! I hope 2012 brings you many blessings and fewer heartaches. Big hugs, Tina!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

      Thanks so much girl! πŸ˜‰

  17. 17

    Jessica — January 3, 2012 @ 1:29 am

    I starred this. I bookmarked it. I pinned it. And I plan on printing it out.

    …that is how much I NEED this in my life! YUM!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

      haha come on over – i have TONS of leftovers!!

  18. 18

    Sandra — January 3, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    This looks like a meal where seconds would be in order! Wishing you a great 2012.

  19. 19

    Christy — January 3, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

    My husband and I just lovvvve your recipes, can’t wait to try this one.:) Wish you a wonderful year of 2012!!!

    • Kristina replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

      and i just lovvvvee you guys! πŸ˜‰ Happy new year girl!

  20. 20

    ErinsFoodFiles — January 3, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    This looks AMAZING! And I hope that 2012 is a year filled with happiness for you!

  21. 21

    Shari @ The Daily Dish — January 4, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Yum! I love Cuban food. This sounds outstanding. Thanks for sharing!

  22. 22

    Charise — January 4, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    That entirely meal sounds so good my stomach is growling! Will definitely be recreating it at my house. πŸ™‚

  23. 23

    Krista — January 4, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    I agree with everyone – looks yummy! Question for you though, will you describe mojo sauce for me please? I’m not familiar with it and want to find a suitable substitute. Thanks!

  24. 24

    Evil Pamor — January 4, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

    OH NO, oh no, oh no…I forgot all about the NO washing rule. I’m trying to remember if I washed…clothes, that is. I am dying to try the pork marinade. Will it work just as well with a pork tenderloin? Love you, miss you, can’t wait to see you!

  25. 25

    The Cookbook Hoarder | Ready Set Feast! — January 6, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    […] Crockpot Cuban pulled pork with mojito sauce […]

  26. 26

    Judy Weiss — February 4, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    I have made this and it is incredible!

  27. 27

    Jane b — May 27, 2012 @ 12:05 am

    Love it!!! Looks great

  28. 28

    Jack — June 12, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    Wow! 13 year old is home for summer and he put it in crockpot and it was amazing! Very moist and a true cuban flavor. Check your frozen food section, Publix has frozen plantains that were great with this!!!

  29. 29

    Milan Lopez — July 4, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

    Why didn’t I read this BLOG a week ago???? This Crockpot idea to make the Cuban style pork is GREAT! I had a party last Saturday and couldn’t take the roasted pork out because it was horrible. I feel so bad…learning how to cook Cuban Food-MY FOOD- from an American girl and….younger than me πŸ™

    Thank you and good luck this year!!!!

  30. 30

    Tina — September 19, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    LOL …I just stumbled upon this recipe and had to comment on your husbands traditions. My hubby is from Tallahassee (basically Georgia) and I’m futher “southern” just like you ..but like you said S. FL is not exactly ‘the South’..Anyway, when we married he shared the same black eyed peas and no laundry on New Year’s day with me, which of course was handed down from his grandmother…unfortunately, I didn’t listen the first year we were married and did laundry anyway.. and,well, I’ve been doing laundry just about everyday since…shoulda listened to Grandmama:-) Can’t wait to try this recipe tonight πŸ™‚ I hope your 2012 has been more ups than down and I will keep you in my prayers.

  31. 31

    Steph — October 2, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    Very tasty! Made this tonight and all were very happy!

  32. 32

    Lisa — October 30, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    Made this last night for guests and it was excellent. Even though I live in Los Angeles, the regular chain markets near me did not have the Mojo marinade so I just found a recipe and made my own. The Mojito sauce was a great accompaniment and didn’t need extra onions or limes with that sauce. Also provided chopped cilantro to sprinkle on top. It was devoured. Served it with Moros Y Cristianos.

  33. 33

    Michelle — November 24, 2012 @ 7:23 am

    Wow!! I made this last night for a group of friends and it was absolutely amazing! I made it exactly as listed except I substituted 6lbs of Country Style Pork Ribs from Costco. I will definitely be making this again!! Thank you!

  34. 34

    Sarah — December 8, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    Wow! Fixed this for diner tonight and it was amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  35. 35

    GHL — August 25, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    Just tried this pulled pork recipe, and they are good! Just want to know what do you do with the cooked marinade? As 2 kg of meat is too much for 2 people, I tore it as directed and placed it in a plastic container together with the cooked marinade (something like a potted shrimp), and then only keeping it in my freezer. Thank you!!

  36. 36

    Mari — January 20, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

    This pork is Ahhhhh-mazing! I live in Georgia and made it for sweet southern friends, there wasn’t much talk during dinner. So good!!!! I had trouble with the mojo sauce to put on top of the meet, the oil tasted weird. I tried using canola and olive, both extra virgin and regular…any idea what I did wrong? Thanks for this perfect Cuban dish…I was transported back to days in Miami πŸ™‚

    • Tina replied: — January 23rd, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

      if you used regular olive oil that would give it a funky taste… I always use extra light olive oil since it doesn’t have that typical “olive oil taste” (its much more mild) – if you have a sensitive palate, you want to use just canola oil or vegetable oil if you can’t find extra light olive oil. πŸ™‚

  37. 37

    Mel — September 29, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

    This turned out great for me, except I had to give it an extra night of cooking to get it to fall apart for easy shredding. Maybe my crockpot isn’t hot enough? I used the 8hr setting and then the 10hr setting. U really can’t dry it out. Thanks for a delicious few meals!

  38. 38

    Wayne — August 3, 2015 @ 7:28 pm

    Need to add Cilantro to the pork recipe.
    For black beans add cilantro, lime juice and sofrito to make them better.
    Finely Chop the cilantro leaves and stems.

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