A spicy pulled pork meal is one of those things you never thought you needed, but once you have it, there is no going back. Pulled pork works in wonderful ways. As a filling for a sandwich, in tacos, fajitas, or even as a main dish on its own.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it requires very little prep. It’s just about patiently waiting for the oven to work its magic.
Let’s get started!
Since this is spicy pulled pork, I like to use chipotle paste. You can find this paste in most Latin American food markets or online. However, if it seems like too much trouble, try using chipotle powder, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or sriracha instead.
Traditional pulled pork is made with orange juice and honey, so I use both here. You can switch things up if need be, so add pineapple juice or peach juice instead. If you don’t have any honey, try brown sugar, molasses, or granulated sugar.
All that is left is the tomato purée and apple cider vinegar. These two are important to add texture, flavor, and color. Some things to use in their place include tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, or even a touch of ketchup. Finally, if you need to replace the apple cider vinegar, go with something like rice vinegar or just plain white vinegar.
When it comes to pulled pork, you always want to make it by using a skinless and boneless pork shoulder. Not everyone can afford it, though, so try pork picnic roast or pork center-cut loin. The results may be less tender, but these work well in a pinch.
All that’s left is for you to marinade the pork with all the ingredients, preferably leaving it in the fridge overnight. Once ready, you can begin cooking!
Serve this spicy pulled pork any time, either as a filling on a potato bread sandwich, or with rice and beans for fajitas!
Freezing the pulled pork
Let the pork cool completely then portion up. Place portions in resealable freezer bags. Lay flat to freeze then file upright.
Unfreezing the pulled pork
Place pork in a lidded saucepan then cook over a low-medium heat. Break up the pork as it defrosts. Once the pork is completely defrosted, add a splash of water, turn up the heat and cook. Stir often until it is hot through.
Another alternative would be to just defrost overnight before reheating.
Can’t get enough freezer meals? Why not try this awesome Freezer-friendly Meatloaf?
Spicy Pulled Pork
8 tbsp chipotle paste
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tomato puree
5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) boneless and skinless pork shoulder
1 1/4 cups (200 ml) orange juice
2 tbsp honey
- Mix 6 tablespoons of chipotle paste with tomato puree and apple cider vinegar.
- Massage mixture into pork.
- Leave the pork in the fridge to marinate for several hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 150 C (302 F).
- Place the pork in a deep-sided roasting pan.
- Pour the orange juice and cover with a foil “tent”. Make sure the edges are sealed but the foil isn’t touching the pork.
- Bake for 5-7 hours until meat is falling apart.
- Check to ensure it hasn’t dried out. Top up with more juice if necessary.
- Increase heat to 200 C (392 F) and remove the foil.
- Brush with honey and cook for another 30 minutes until crisp.
- Remove fatty bits of meat, then use fork to pull the pork apart.
- Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of chipotle paste. Make sure the pulled meat is completely coated with all the juices.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!