This Mexican Pulled Pork recipe was sponsored by the National Pork Board. All thoughts and opinions, however, are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make ¡Hola! Jalapeño possible.
I’m a firm believer that there is nothing quite as satisfying as a tender, flavor-packed pulled pork sandwich. Meat that gives at just the slightest pressure to reveal shreds of achiote and garlic marinated pork, just waiting to be piled on a fluffy bun and topped with quick-pickled vegetables and crispy onion straws. Are you ready or what?
What Cut of Pork is Best for Pulled Pork?
I’m excited to be working with the National Pork Board to bring you this incredible recipe that is such a crowd-pleaser. We love all cuts of pork and find that our local Von’s has the best selection for fresh pork whether that’s pork chops or tenderloin, but the best cut for pulled pork is pork shoulder.
At Vons they sell pork shoulder with the bone-in or boneless. I chose boneless for this recipe as you get more meat for your money, but the bone offers tons of flavor, so either way you really can’t go wrong. What you’re looking for is a piece with a good ratio of fat to meat. The fat melts as it cooks and makes it super tender and flavorful. If you are looking for more healthy Mexican recipes, you can substitute a leaner cut of pork like a pork loin or tenderloin but keep in mind it won’t be quite as juicy.
What Should I Serve with Mexican Pulled Pork?
This pulled pork is essentially my easy Cochinita Pibil recipe but made even easier in the crock pot. It is one of my favorite Mexican dinner ideas for entertaining. You simply throw everything in the slow cooker and walk away.
One unique aspect to this recipe is lining the crock pot with fresh banana leaves like how authentic Cochinita Pibil is made. You can skip this step if you prefer.
Since we are taking the easy route with the pork, I thought it would be fun to top the sandwich with a few tasty toppings that are absolutely optional, but so worth it.
First up, are crispy-fried pickled onion straws. Pickled red onions are traditionally served with Cochinita Pibil tacos, so it’s only logical that they appear here as well, but instead of just a straight-up pickle, I took it one step further and turned them into crispy onion strings with tons of tangy flavor. To really get that pickled flavor to come through, give the onions a good overnight soak in the pickling liquid before frying.
The second topping essentially takes the exact same pickling liquid (in fact, you can make one big batch and divide in two) and makes a colorful rainbow of pickled vegetables. I used carrots, different colored radishes, and yellow bell pepper, but you can use any crunchy vegetable you have. You will find yourself using this quick-pickle method again and again. It is so easy and good.
Try it this weekend or save this post for company—it is one of my favorite Day of the Dead recipes!