This Slow Cooker Mojo Pork is juicy, flavourful and super easy to prepare. Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker, set the timer and before you know it, dinner is served. Enjoy with some fried plantains, a cooking marinade that doubles as a flavourful dipping sauce, and some sliced, sweet onion. It’s the perfect meal for busy weeknights.
What You Need For Slow Cooker Mojo Pork
- Florida Orange Juice: Rather than make the mojo with bottled naranja agria (bitter orange juice), which is hard to find where I live and usually made from concentrate, preservatives and additives, I prefer to combine Florida Orange Juice with some fresh lime and Florida Grapefruit juice (when in season) to mimic the sour and bitter flavor of naranja agria.
We have a big jug of Florida Orange Juice in our fridge at all times. When we’re not drinking it, adding it to smoothies or making ice pops with it in the summer, I like to use it as a way to build flavor in different recipes like this Slow Cooker Mojo Pork.
- Pork Shoulder: Pork shoulder is an affordable and flavourful cut of meat that is perfect for low-and-slow cooking. Depending on where you live, you may find it labeled under different names, such as pork butt or Boston butt. They all come from the same area of the animal, more or less. Another option is to use a pork picnic roast, which comes from the area just under the shoulder.
For maximum flavor, try to use bone-in pork shoulder. If you can only find boneless, that will work too. The advantage is that you will cut down on some of the cooking time with a boneless roast.
- Fresh Florida Grapefruit Juice (Optional): When in season (typically December through April), grab a red Florida Grapefruit when shopping for the ingredients for this Slow Cooker Mojo Pork. The juice of half of one Grapefruit will add an element of bitterness that mimics naranja agria commonly used in mojo marinades.
When it’s not in season, you can use 1/3 cup of Florida Grapefruit Juice. Look in the refrigerated section of your grocery store for 100% not-from-concentrate red ruby Grapefruit Juice from Florida.
- Garlic: Chopped fresh garlic is a powerhouse of flavor and really shines through here. Because it’s used in the cooking liquid and dipping sauce, you get different flavor profiles from it along the way.
- Spices: A combination of ground cumin, ground coriander and dry oregano flavor the pork without overpowering one another.
- Ripe Plantains: Look for plantains that are dark yellow with black spotting all over. Unlike unripened, green plantains, which are starchy and get crispy as they cook, ripe plantains are sweet and tender and get soft as they cook.
- White Onion: I like serving the Mojo pork with some thinly sliced white onions.
- Fresh Cilantro and Mint: Adding finely chopped cilantro and mint to some of the reserved marinade makes for a bright, colorful and delicious dipping sauce for the pork.
What is Mojo?
Mojo (pronounced mo-ho) is a delicious and versatile marinade found throughout South America and the Caribbean. It’s typically made with a combination of bitter orange juice (naranja agria), oil, garlic and oregano. The possibilities, however, are endless. Sometimes fresh herbs like cilantro and mint are added, other times bay leaf.
Mojo can be used to marinade chicken, pork, beef or fish. It can also be used as a sauce for basting or dipping. In this recipe for Slow Cooker Mojo Pork, I use the mojo as a cooking liquid and dipping sauce. It’s bright, fresh and the acidity helps cut through the richness of the fatty pork shoulder.
Can’t Find Naranja Agria?
Naranja agria (bitter orange) is not commonly found in grocery stores near me. It’s available in some specialty Latino markets throughout the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), but since moving north of the city, I haven’t had much of a chance to shop there.
One solution is to create your own naranja agria substitute by combining two parts 100% orange juice with one part fresh lime juice. For added bitterness, you can also mix in some red Florida Grapefruit Juice.
Florida Orange Juice, the Original Wellness Drink
Whether you’re at the kids’ soccer practice, on a road trip or doing some work in the backyard, Florida Orange Juice is an excellent way to help stay hydrated. You can enjoy it on its own, add it to a smoothie, or mix it with equal parts filtered water for something a little less sweet.
100% orange juice is made up of almost 90% water and naturally contains electrolytes, including potassium and magnesium. 100% OJ is also a source of vitamin C, folate and thiamin, as well as a dietary source of hesperidin, a polyphenol.
Enjoying Florida Orange Juice in combination with plenty of water is an excellent and natural way to satisfy sweet cravings and stay hydrated, especially during the hotter months.
For a tasty treat, try adding Florida Orange Juice to a silicon ice pop mold and freezing it until solid for an all-natural popsicle that the kids will love.
This recipe was created in partnership with Florida Department of Citrus. All opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.
Slow Cooker Mojo Pork
For the Mojo Pork:
- 1 cup Florida Orange Juice
- Juice ½ Red Florida Grapefruit around 1/3 cup
- Juice 3 limes around 1/3 cup
- 6 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 3.5- pound boneless pork shoulder substitute bone-in pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- ½ large white onion thinly sliced into rings, for serving
For the Fried Plantains:
- 4 large ripe yellow plantains, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- ½ cup avocado oil
For the Mojo Pork:
- In a bowl, combine the Florida Orange Juice, red Florida Grapefruit Juice, lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, oregano and black pepper. Whisk until incorporated.
- Transfer the pork to a slow cooker and poke holes all over one side with a sharp knife. Pour in two thirds of the marinade, reserving the remaining 1/3, and toss to coat. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork is very tender and can easily be shredded with two forks.
- Add the cilantro and mint to the reserved marinade and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat the broiler of your oven.
- Carefully transfer the cooked pork to a roasting pan and ladle around 1 cup of the cooking liquid overtop. Transfer to the top rack of the oven and broil until the top of the pork is slightly charred and crispy, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, pour the cooking liquid overtop, and serve with the fried plantains, sliced onions, and reserved marinade.
For the Fried Plantains:
- Preheat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sliced plantains and cook until golden brown, around 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown, around 4 more minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook, flipping occasionally, until the plantains are soft and a deep brown all over, around 6 more minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and lightly season with a pinch of salt to taste.