Spicy Malta Pulled Pork

Pork is a big deal in this home.  It could have something to do with being Puerto Rican.  It’s the choice meat on our little island. Seriously, instead of a Christmas ham we roast pig with the skin on until crispy.  We even have Christmas songs about roasted pig.  It’s titled “That Poor Pig”.

Ese pobre lechón
Se murió de repente
Con un tajo en la frente
Y otro en el corazón
Lo metieron al horno
lo sacaron caliente
Le metieron diente
A ese probre lechón.


That poor pig
who died suddenly
with a cut on his forehead
and another in the heart
I put it in the oven
I took it out hot
I bit into it
I bit into it
that poor pig.

It gets a little lost in translation, it sounds worse in English.  Please don’t call PETA on me.

Needless to say I love pig and I was craving some pulled pork but I wanted to use some more “down homy” flavors.  I thought I would start with my “Slow Cooker Pernil” and give it a BBQ pulled pork twist.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork BBQ

First I made my standerd adobo for a 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder. In a motar & pestel or food processor, combine 4 tsp of salt, 6 cloves or garlic, 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper, 1 tsp of oregano, 1 1/2 Tbs of olive oil and 1 1/2 Tbs of white vinegar.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork 2

Cut about 8 slits all around the pork shoulder.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork 3

Fill the slits with the adobo, rub any remaining adobo on the meat, refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to marinate.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork 4

In a hot heavy bottom pot or dutch oven brown the meat on all sides.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork BBQ 2
Transfer the pork shoulder to the slow cooker.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork BBQ 3

Get some chipotle salsa. Yes salsa, not peppers.

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Pour one can over top.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork BBQ 5

Now dig up some malta.  This can usually be found at a Latin market, Asian market or if your lucky the international aisle of your local super market.  If you have never had it, you probably won’t appreciate it.  It’s an acquired taste that you have to grow up with, but don’t think of not using it.  If you have had it, make sure you get yourself an extra bottle to enjoy cold with your dinner in 8 hours.

Pour one 12 oz bottle of malta.  There are different brands out there.  The best in my opinion are Malta India and Malta Goya.

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Add 1/2 a cup of bitter orange marinade.

spicy pulled pork

Finally a 6 oz can of tomato paste.  Give the liquids a little stir, cover and set on low for 8 hours.  Walk away, do some laundry, run a mile, try to paint a replica of the Mona Lisa.

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When you come back from doing whatever super productive thing you were doing, you will be greeted with tender saucy porky goodness.


Using a fork or some tongs shred the meat.  Honestly it should just fall apart and take little effort. 

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Pile your favorite hamburger bun with some spicy malt pulled pork.  I added a little bit of my refrigerator pickled salad.  The vinegar helps cut into the heat a bit.

Spicy Malt Pulled Pork BBQEl lechon se coje, se mata y se pela! And become a delicious sinful sandwich.

The best part about this is the leftovers.  Why you ask?  Because you get to eat it AGAIN!  Duh!

Spicy Malta Pulled Pork
  • 4 lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 6 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1½ Tbs olive oil
  • 1½ Tbs white vinegar
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 7 oz can chipotle salsa
  • 1 12 oz bottle malta
  • ½ cup bitter orange marinade
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  1. Combine garlic, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar and salt. Cut slits in pork, fill with garlic mixture, rub remaining mixture on pork refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. In a hot heavy bottom pot or dutch oven brown the pork on all sides, transfer to slow cooker. Add chipotle salsa, malta, bitter orange marinade & tomato paste, stir.
  3. Cover and set on low for 8 hours.
  4. Shred meat using a fork or thongs, serve on buns.


  1. Mimi says

    This recipe looks easy and delicious! Will try! I love your entire site & the hubby loves the food. :) Thanks Meseidy, you’re a true talent and comedian.

  2. Lory says

    I was so excited to do this recipe, I really didn’t know how it would turn out. Well, it was simple to do, once I found all the ingredients. It definetely has that spicyness because of the chipolte peppers. If you want it a little less hot, just do about half of half of the little cans (6 oz). We had it all different ways-on bread as suggested, on soft tacos and hard tacos with toppings, but my favorite way was on white rice. It gave me inspiration to try all kinds of marinades with it, but I would never skip the adobo on this one.

  3. says

    Working in my head on how I can translate this into making it on my smokers. Cast iron dutch oven maybe. I love spins on pulled pork like this.

  4. Minerva Santana-Gonzalez says

    I love pernil and I love malta…just never had both at the same time. My son loves pulled pork…I just might let him be my guinea pig (pardon the pun). I remember growing up having ponche (mixture of egg yolk with alot of sugar beaten to a paste) then adding the malta to it…Mmmm Mmmm good!

  5. Erika says

    WOW!!!! thank you, that brought back a lot of fond memories, you had me singing and remembering the family holidays get-togethers.

    “Ese lechon mas sobroson pa’ noche buena,
    Ese lechon mas sobroson pa’ navidad”


    “That pig very delicious for Christmas eve,
    That pig very delicious for Christmas”

    I love pulled pork and I could never get a good receipe that would have my culture taste to it; being 51/2 months pregnant now I’m craving some pulled pork. Thank god I leave in Buffalo, NY where I can find spanish ingredients. This weekend we are having some pulled pork.

  6. marie says

    I will have to try your recipe with the Malta. I do have a bottle just to have on hand.
    Now I have to use it. By the way I love pork I eat a lot you can use it im so many ways. Yum.

  7. Paulina J! says

    I LOVE malta! (I’m Dominican). My husband, on the other hand, can’t stand it. Just like you said, you have to grow up drinking it to appreciate it. My grandpa used to drink the bitter one (I think it was Gernan, can’t remember the name), we used to mix it with condensed milk & crushed ice. Next time I go to NY I’ll see if i can find it. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  8. Chrissa says

    I am experimenting with going vegetarian – but this is making me reconsider!!! 😉 I just showed the recipe to my boricua husband, and now he is dreaming of Malta India and Cola Champagne :-)

    • Freddie Santiago says

      I grew up drinking Malta since I was a child it has a malty taste to. I remember on hot summer days dad would pour it over two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Delicious malta ice cream float A must try!

      • Lory says

        Is this the Freddie from Iglesia El Calvario in Orlando Florida, if it is, hey, I love that you love this website. Lory (Carrero) McGuire

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