Cuban-Inspired Mojo Pork

Pork is a favorite in my family. Whether it’s bacon, chops, ham, sausage or chicharones, pork is delicious. You can have it on sandwiches or on its own, sweet or savory, hot or cold, or however you feel like. No matter how I eat it, I love it tender, juicy, and flavorful.

Pork is a popular meat in Latin American dishes. Every Latin American family has their tried-and-true recipe for pernil, a delicious pork dish. This is a slow cooker version where the pork cooks at a low temp for the long daytime hours. When you come home, the smell of the pork will invite you in. I promise that your mouth will water and you might just eat it straight from the slow cooker.

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I judge Mexican restaurants by how well they cook their pork. Is it tasty or bland? Is it tender, juicy, and moist or tough and dry? My husband laughs at me because I never fail to eat carnitas as a way of sussing out how good the restaurant is. If they don’t make a good pork dish, I won’t eat there again.

I developed this recipe because it was time for me to have my own pork recipe to pass along to my kids. This recipe is of the dump-and-go variety, which – if you don’t want to work too hard to have a good dinner on the table at the end of the day – is the way to go. Although, I strongly recommend that you do marinate the meat overnight. It’s worth the ten extra minutes to do that.

Disclaimer: This post uses Amazon affiliate links. If you use my link and purchase the item, I get a small commission (and it doesn’t cost you anything).

This recipe makes good work out of a pork shoulder. The shoulder is a tough cut of meat with a good amount of fat marbled throughout. Between the acidic nature of the juice and the low and slow method of cooking, the meat finally gives way and becomes tender and flavorful.

Equipment List:

  • 7-quart slow cooker
  • Slow cooker liner
  • Juicer (optional, but helpful)
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Tongs to handle the meat
  • 2 1-gallon freezer safe Ziploc bags

Ingredient List:

  • 3 pound pork shoulder
  • 1 medium sized white onion
  • Oranges (enough for about 1 cup of juice) (See Notes below)
  • Limes (enough for about 1/2 cup of juice)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves removed, peeled, and smashed with a knife
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
Most of the ingredients for the recipe.

Note: if you wanted to cheat, you could use bottled orange juice, but I found that the extra sugar throws the flavor off for me. It’s worth the work to squeeze the juice yourself. You could also use bottled lime juice, but the flavor profile is off in my opinion.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Night before: Mix the 1 cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup of lime juice, olive oil, oregano, and garlic in a two cup measuring cup.
  • Salt and pepper the pork shoulder. If the shoulder is folded over, make sure to salt and pepper inside the fold as well.
  • Place the pork shoulder in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag.
  • Pour the juice mixture into the bag with the pork.
  • Remove as much air as possible and massage the bag to distribute the juices all over the meat.
  • I recommend that you add the marinade back into another Ziploc bag, just in case the first bag doesn’t hold.
  • Place the bag into the fridge for at least one hour. Preferably, you can do this for six to eight hours. If you can, flip the bag at least once.
  • Slice your onions. (Sometimes I add those to the marinade and sometimes I don’t. I don’t think it makes a ton of difference either way.)
  • The next day, set up your slow cooker. I usually line my slow cooker with a plastic liner made for this, which makes clean up super easy.
  • Add the sliced onions to the bottom of the slow cooker. If they are in the marinade with the meat, don’t worry about this step.
  • Add the shoulder and turn it so that the fat cap is on top. You want the fat to render through the meat if possible. If you have garlic or onions stuck to the top, try to move them to the sides of the shoulder.
  • Add two bay leaves.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

I meant to try this as part of a Cuban Sandwich, but ate it all before I had the chance! This pork was fork-tender and so juicy. The flavors of the citrus and garlic make me hum while I eat it. And, my kids really enjoyed this as well. My littlest one likes this pork with white rice and sweet corn. How do you like your Cuban Mojo Pork?

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 57 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

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Instant Pot Filipino-Inspired Chicken Adobo

I love chicken adobo.  I mean, LOVE.  That delicious combo of vinegar and soy sauce with all the garlic you could stand, drizzled over some white rice and some tender, fall off the bone chicken makes my mouth water and the scale climb in number.  However, my husband loves it more than I do.  He will almost do a happy dance when he finds out that he’s going to have chicken adobo, he loves the dish so much.  It’s almost comical how happy he gets, but I’ll take it as a compliment to my cooking.

Jump to the Equipment List. Jump to the Ingredient List. Jump to the Recipe Instructions.

Chicken adobo is a Filipino dish that is very simple to make, yet extremely satisfying.  Growing up, adobo meant something else other than the dish I enjoy fairly frequently today. Check out this Chowhound article on the difference between Latin and Filipino adobo. 

The word adobo may come from the Spanish word adovar which means to marinate. So, basically, this recipe is all about the marinade. Typically, the chicken is stepped in this delicious, vinegary, and tangy marinade and then braised in the same marinade. The yield is a tender, delicious meat, falling off the bone. Typically, this dish is done at a low temp and cooked over hours.

Disclaimer: This post uses Amazon affiliate links. If you use my link and purchase the item, I get a small commission (and it doesn’t cost you anything).

I love my Instant Pot. Mine is a 6 quart 7-in-1 multicooker that can saute, pressure cook, make yogurt, steam, cook eggs, among other things. I’ve had since 2016 when we bought our house and since then we bought a 3 quart and adopted another 6 quart. I love having multiple pots since I can cook so many things at once for meal prep or potlucks. If you haven’t purchased one, you should consider it!

It’s easy to make this Filipino-inspired chicken adobo in the slow cooker, but it’s quicker and just as fantastic in the Instant Pot. In fact, as much as I love this dish, I don’t love how the house smells when I make it in the slow cooker. It’s still fragrant in the Instant Pot, but not quite as in-your-face. And besides, you can cook this and have dinner served within an hour or less. Have nothing planned for dinner tonight? Chicken adobo to the rescue. You have an excess amount of chicken? Put it together in a Ziploc bag and freeze it for dinner in a pinch. Read on for the recipe!

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart instant pot
  • Tongs to flip the chicken
  • Measuring cup and measuring spoons
  • Serving ladle (I used the one that came with my pot)
  • Plate to hold the reserved chicken (optional)
  • Wooden spoon to saute the chicken (optional)

Ingredient List:

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs – bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce (or aminos if going gluten free)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil for browning (optional)
Ingredients for instant pot Filipino-inspired chicken adobo.  Simple and delicious.
The Cast of Characters for this recipe include: garlic, bay leaves, chicken thighs, soy sauce, and white vinegar, and peppercorns (not pictured). Six simple ingredients for a delicious dinner!

Recipe Instructions:

  • Optional step: wash and pat dry the chicken pieces.
  • Optional step: set the Instant Pot to “Saute” and adjust to medium heat. When the display states “HOT,” pour in and swirl around the oil. When the display reads “HOT” again, saute the chicken, skin side down, in batches. Brown the chicken for about two minutes and flip. Saute for two minutes. Set aside the chicken on a plate.
After browning. I personally found that the browning does not add too much additional depth of flavor to the finished dish, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
  • Pour one cup of white vinegar together with one cup of low sodium soy sauce in the inner liner of the Instant Pot.
  • Peel and smash the garlic cloves, as many as you would like to have. Add to the vinegar/soy sauce mix.
  • Add peppercorns. They don’t make the dish spicy, but the peppercorns add a nice kick in each bite. You can omit them altogether, if you prefer.
  • Add the chicken.
  • Stir everything together. If you’re able to submerge the chicken, this is a good time to do that.
  • Add the bay leaves on top.
Ready for some pressure.
  • Cook under high pressure for about 10 minutes. If cooking from frozen, cook for 13 minutes.
  • Allow the pot to rest for about 10 minutes after the cooking cycle is complete.
  • Release any of the remaining pressure.
  • Option step: Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a clean plate. Tent with aluminum foil to retain the heat. Press the saute button on the pot and boil the liquid for a couple of minutes to thicken slightly.
  • Serve chicken adobo over Instant Pot Jasmine Rice!
  • Enjoy!
Plated with Instant Pot Jasmine Rice. It was so delicious the next day, too!

What do you enjoy the most about this recipe? I think it’s the tanginess of the vinegar mixed in with the saltiness of the soy sauce. I also really like how tender this chicken becomes. It practically falls off the bone. Not to mention, the garlic takes on a smooth and slightly sweet taste, which is nice smeared over the chicken or on the rice. Delicious!

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 57 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.