Spicy Pulled Pork

This is a first on Cooking in Red Socks! I didn’t grow up cooking pork anything (being Jewish will do that for you), but we always ate it outside the house. I mean, really, who doesn’t love bacon? So I ventured into the world of pulled pork. I didn’t want to make barbeque, so I decided on something a little more versatile. This recipe starts with a Mexican inspired rub. Cayenne, paprika, garlic, and onion start a blend of aromatic and slobber-worthy seasonings. The rub is massaged into the pork and submerged in water, sort of like a pork hot tub. I also add onions and jalapeno peppers to the hot tub, so it continues to soak in more and more flavor as it slow cooks. By the end it is falling apart, and ready to be put on anything. I’m pretty sure it would taste great on top of a shoe with a dollop of sour cream.


After making it the first time this winter, I have now made it three times since. It’s been a huge hit with Ryan and our friends. If you want to be a little more traditional than the shoe suggestion, you can serve it over cilantro rice. I’ve also used it for amaaaazingggg spicy pork tacos (recipe coming tomorrow), and last night we had the leftovers on pizza with pineapple, red onions, barbeque sauce, and goat cheese. It is one of those dishes that gets better and better each time you reheat it because the flavors continue to meld together.


Some of you are going to write back and ask for slow cooker directions for this recipe. Follow the same steps except that you will cover the pork with water, not cover most of it. Cook on high for roughly 6 hours, up to 8 hours, depending on the size of your pork shoulder.


Spicy Pulled Pork
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
4 hours
Total time
4 hours 15 mins
Author: Cooking in Red Socks
Recipe type: Beef and Pork Entrees
Serves: 6-8
  • 1- 4 lb (up to 7 lbs) pork shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 (or 2) jalapeno peppers, halved
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Rinse the pork shoulder off and dry it with paper towel. Season the shoulder well, on all sides, with salt and pepper. Give it a little pat to make sure the s&p are really stuck on there.
  3. Whisk the spices (cayenne – garlic) with the olive oil to create a rub. Use your hands to smear the rub all over the pork. Really rub it in there using the back of your hand or your knuckles. Place the pork in a cast iron pot or oven safe pot with a lid. Cover the pork ¾ of the way with water. Add the jalapenos and onions to the water, cover, and put in the oven.
  4. Cook the pork for 4 hours, flipping it every hour. For the first two hours or so you won’t really think that much is happening, but by 3+ hours it will start to be very tender. Be careful flipping it towards the end so you don’t end up splashing yourself! When the pork is tender, remove it from the oven and the pot, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Use two forks to shred the pork, or if you want it a little more roughly chopped use a knife. Pour the juices back over top after you’ve put it into a serving dish.
  6. Serve as desired, but absolutely with limes.


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