Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Pork Shoulder.
As luck would have it – I have the best pork dish for your New Year!
But really, all bad puns aside, this may be my best pork dish ever. Ever ever. And that is coming from a serious pork lover. You know it.
But first, just how superstitious are you?
Do you do any weird superstitious things like wear the same socks when your favorite sports team plays or eat black eyed peas to ring in the new year or throw salt over your shoulder? And if you do that last one, how on earth do you get it all cleaned up because just the thought seriously stresses me out.
I’m not very superstitious with my behavior because just the thought of being superstitious makes me feel too superstitious. Does that make any sense at all, besides absolutely none? Didn’t think so.
However! My family has ALWAYS eaten pulled pork on New Years Day and I didn’t even know it was a thing. I mean I know it was our thing, but I didn’t know it was, like, a thing THING. Like a good luck thing. Apparently it is and I thought it was just because we all really love pulled pork. But no no. It started for luck. Continued for love.
Eddie and I loved this meal so, so much that we ended up eating it for days. We also ended up making it again – in fact, three more times(!!!) since this past October when I was first testing it. So freaking delicious. The pork is obviously a touch spicy and when paired with the fresh, crisp cucumbers that are sitting in a drizzle of toasted sesame oil – ah! It’s the best combination of flavor and mouth feel. Apparently that’s a thing.
And I just can’t get over how wonderful it is in sandwiches, or over rice, or in tacos… basically every which way possible. Or with eggs! Or with pasta. Any way you like. If you like sweet heat, this has your name allllll over it.
Sweet and Spicy Pork Shoulder with Sesame Cucumbers
- 1 (3 to 4 pound) pork shoulder
- salt and pepper to season
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chili garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- toasted sesame oil, for drizzling
- 1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced (I like to use the mandolin for this)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
- salt and pepper for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Season the pork shoulder with the salt and pepper, then place it in the skillet. Sear on all sides until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Turn off the heat.
- In the bottom of your slow cooker, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, chili garlic paste and hoisin sauce. Add the pork shoulder and cover. Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low. Once finished, the pork should fall apart with a fork. Shred it well (removing any bones/fat/etc) and toss in the chili garlic mixture.
- Serve with jasmine rice and the sesame cucumbers. Drizzle on toasted sesame oil and serve with more chili garlic paste.
- Place the cucumber slices in a bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil and chili garlic paste. Pour over the cucumbers and toss well to coat. Season with the salt and pepper, then sprinkle on the sesame seeds.
Did you make this recipe?
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Try it so you can be the luckiest!
103 Comments on “Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Pork Shoulder.”
This looks amazing, and I had no idea that pulled pork could bring good luck! I think I’ll have to adopt this tradition–I love sweet heat and am not really a fan of black-eyed peas, so it’s perfect.
WE always eat pork on New Years too, but it’s a loin with sauerkraut. Not a big sauerkraut fan but where I live, EVERYBODY eats it. Pulled pork, so much better. We have this little restaurant Kentucky Greg’s BBQ pit and it’s a total dive but their pork will make you cry…..it’s that good. And it looks like yours!!! I can do this.
i don’t really care for sauerkraut either. i wish i did!
This looks so tender and delicious – yum!
What kind of chili garlic sauce (or is it called a paste??) do you use? I’ve seen the sauce I think?
i use this one! http://www.amazon.com/Huy-Fong-Vietnamese-Chili-Garlic/dp/B0006SKCVI
The pork looks amazing, but those cucumbers look even better!! They remind me of a recipe my mother-in-law makes.
yum!! i have all of these ingredients! minus the pork shoulder of course haha.
question: I always thought food cooked in slow cookers need to be submerged in liquids.
Its okay to cook a whole pork shoulder in just 1/2 cup of liquid (soy sauce)? i wont burn or stick to the bottom of the pan?
(can you tell i dont use my slow cooker much? ) :)
the meat will release juices as it cooks, so you should be fine
stephanie is right! pork shoulder especially will release sooo much juice and fat that it will be swimming in liquid – you may even want to drain some after.
thank you!! great to know!
This looks so fabulous! I’ve been craving pork and it’s been way too long since I’ve made a pork shoulder..this is happening on Friday..probably in taco form! p.s. The new site design looks beautiful!
I haven’t had shredded pork in way too long and this looks amazing. I love the sweet and spicy combination and the Asian flavors!
(Oh, and I love the blog update, too. So pretty!)
Oh yummmmm, here’s our new pork recipe for the new year! Love the site update as well, but just one thing – I follow with Feedly and miss being able to get the full post within the feed reader instead of jumping to the site, wah wah. You’re worth the extra click, though. :)
i didn’t even realize that! will def change it back, i usually have the whole feed in the readers anyway.
This looks incredible! Pulled pork is one of my favorite meals, and it’s so versatile.
Also, I am loving the update to the site. It looks so fresh and clean. :)
Eating pulled pork on New Year’s Day is a fantastic tradition! Much better than my family’s choice, which is to watch all of the Lord of the Rings movies in a row (ummm what?). I’ll take the pork, thankyouverymuch.
P.S. Probably a million years behind on this but I love the updated site!
just did it today. ;)
Could pork tenderloin be used in place of pork shoulder? Would any alterations need to be made as far as cooking time?
i definitely think it could, as long as you’re cooking on low, just check it after 6 to 8 hours-ish? the only thing i find it that tenderloin can be slightly drier, but in the crockpot it shouldn’t be.
Not sure if anyone said it or if you are into it…….. this would be great to make a bomb-ass ramen!!
totally would. yessss.
Just a shout-out to say that I love the revamped blog look!
Love the new look!!!!! <3
Omg! I love the site’s new look! Love it!!! And I’m in pulled pork heaven!
This looks delicious! I have vowed to use my slow cooker more this year and this is going on the to-make list!
Also, the site looks excellent!
We always eat pork and saurkraut on New Years Day–tradition says you eat pork to “root” ahead into new year. This recipe looks great and i love my slow cooker!! Love your recipes and your blog!
My family is the same way with NYE traditions – except we do lentils in some weird Czech tradition – I like the idea of pulled pork shoulder a whole lot more. ;)
This pork shoulder + cucumber combo look absolutely mouth watering. Happy New year and thanks for all the great recipes this past year!
The superstition is if you eat chicken on New Years you’ll be scratching for it but if you eat pork you’ll be rolling in it. This looks like a fabulous way to meet that tradition. Thanks for sharing.
The pork looks astonishing, however, those cucumbers look stunningly better!! They help me to remember a formula my relative makes.
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I like the idea from Eliza. Pork tenderloin is easier to get here in Spain and is cheaper too.
I´m going to try the recipe on tacos, including the cucumbers. Should be a fantastic combo and a real “fussion” recipe: Asian-Mex
I wish you a wonderful 2016
I made this last night and it was SO unbelievably delicious!! Thank you for the recipe and happy new year!! :)
Made this today and it was even better than I expected. We’re going to use the leftovers for bahn mi sandwiches tomorrow :) thank you for sharing and happy new year!!
Every now and then I’ll toss some salt over my shoulder. I figure “what could it hurt?” The secret: turn your back to your kitchen sink and toss it over your shoulder INTO the sink ;) I don’t know if that’s cheating or counteracts the superstitious poweriness, but I’m alive so….
Also, our NY tradition is ham, black eyed peas and cabbage (health, wealth and happiness!)
Made this tonight minus the chili paste (added Sriracha on the side). It was so good even my picky toddler ate pulled pork and cucumbers for the first time. Amaaaazing!
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I just made this. It was delicious; my 14 yr old said recipe “was a keeper”. I didn’t have chili paste so I used 2tbsp. sriracha plus 2 minced garlic cloves. Worked perfectly.
I made this Sunday. It was delish! Am thinking about filling tacos!
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Made this last night with pork tenderloin rather than pork shoulder because that’s what I had. Super yummy! Only took about 6 hours. I was worried about it being dry, but it wasn’t at all. Every recipe I make of yours is perfection! Thanks!
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We had this for dinner tonight. So good! 5 stars!
ugh. wish i could do this with just an oven. no slow cooker ):
just a note on this – I love this recipe but got rid of my slow cooker. Last night I made this in the oven and so did the following:
For step 1: replace dutch oven (or oven-proof pot) with skillet, once meat is browned remove from pot and place on plate
For step 2: instead of at the bottom of your slow cooker, just mix all the rest of the ingredients in the bottom of your pot. I also added a bit of water to have a higher liquid content and cover about 1/2 the height of the pork.
I cooked this in an oven at 325 degrees for ~3.5 hours. I flipped the roast half way through so it wouldn’t get too dried out.
Wanted to share because I was flying by the seat of my pants, but it turned out deliciously!!
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Thank you for the recipe
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Will gave it for dinner this week end, thanks for sharing :)
love that decoration colour recipee combination was awesome… its looking so cool and beautiful
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It looks so juicy and tendering..yum yum..
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Awesome Recipe. I used to make it at my home.
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Thanx for this recipe, i love this
its amazing very wonderfull dish