by Debra Wysopal

Another simply stellar recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution (buy this book!) Sweet and smoky with some kick, this is one of my absolute favorite recipes. It is perfect summer heatwave fare, when no one wants to cook. You can absolutely use the chili powders but it is *so* worth toasting the whole peppers at least once. You can find them sourced in most super-markets, they last forever and they are relatively inexpensive. I use this filling for simple tacos served with corn, cilantro, cojita cheese – drizzled in habanero hot sauce but it’s perfect for enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas or just atop a salad.

Sweet and Spicy Shredded Pork

Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 12 voted )


  • 3 dried Ancho Chiles or 3 TBSP Ancho Chili Powder
  • 2 dried Chipotle Chilis or 2 TBSP Chipotle Powder
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice, fresh or canned
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (3-4lb) boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut in to quarters any netting removed
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 TBSN fresh lime juice, plus extra if desired


Toast the ancho and chipotle chilies in a skillet over medium-high heat until darkened, fragrant and dry.  About 4-6 minutes, flipping once - be sure not burn (lower heat if chilis start to smoke).  Let chilis cool slightly, then remove stem and seeds (if you want) and tear into smaller pieces,  Cover chilis in warm water and soak to reconstitute, soft but not mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes, drain well.  I do this step every time, it takes a little longer but makes this glorious rich sauce.  HOWEREVER - if using powders (which is totally acceptable) skip this step and add the chili powders to the processor or blender in the next step. 

Puree soaked chilis, pineapple juice, garlic, sugar, cumin and cloves in blender or processor until smooth, about 30 seconds; transfer to slow cooker.  Take your salt and pepper seasoned pork chunks and add to slow cooker, smother with the sauce mixture.  Cover and cook until pork is tender, 9-11 hours on LOW or my way; 5-7 hours on HIGH.

Transfer pork to large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred discarding any excess fatty bits, cover to keep warm.  Let braising liquid settle for about 5 minutes in slow cooker, skim fat from surface and discard,  using a large spoon. 

Toss shredded pork with 1 cup braising liquid, add more if needed to keep moist.  Stir in lime juice and season with Salt and Pepper to taste.


Can be frozen for up to one month, just be sure let thaw completely before using.

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