Malta BBQ Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork Recipe | Pork is a big deal in this home. It could have something to do with being Puerto Rican. It’s the choice of meat on our little island.
Seriously, instead of a Christmas ham, we roast pork with the skin on until crispy and fall-apart tender.
We even have Christmas songs about a roasted pig. Needless to say, I love pork and I was craving some pulled pork but wanted to use some more “down-homey” flavors. I thought I would start with my “Slow Cooker Pernil” and give it a BBQ shredded pork twist.
Malta BBQ Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork Recipe
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
I took my slow cooker pernil and added chipotle salsa, malta, and tomato paste. The result was a barbecue sauce slow cooker spicy pulled pork recipe that’s knocks-your-socks-off delicious! Let me make it clear that I used chipotle salsa and not chipotle peppers.
What is the Best Cut of Meat for Pulled Pork?
My preferred cut of meat for this recipe is a boneless pork shoulder. But you can also use bone-in pork shoulder. You will just need to allow more cooking time, approximately 10 hours on LOW or 6 hours on HIGH. Other cuts that you can use are pork roasts or Boston butt.
Can Pork Loin be Used for Pulled Pork?
Pork loin can be used, but because it is a lean meat, it won’t be as flavorful and the shredded pork could end up dry when you go to shred the meat. You may have to add more liquid (such as broth) in this case.
How to Make Spicy Pulled Pork?
- There great thing about this recipe is how simple it is to prepare. It does require a little time of prep to really allow the flavor to developt but it’s and easy dish.
- Combine the garlic, spices, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Cut slits in pork and fill the holes with the garlic mixture. Then rub thge remaining mixture on pork and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Once the pork finishes marinating set the slow cooker to sear and brown the pork on all sides. Then add chipotle salsa, malta, bitter orange marinade & tomato paste, stir.
- Cover and cook for 8 hours cooking on LOW or 4 hours cooking on HIGH. Now you can walk aways and binge watch your favorite new show.
What is Malta?
If you are wondering what in the world is malta, let me explain. Malta is one of my favorite carbonated drinks with both sweet and bitter notes, best-served ice cold. It has a strong malty beer smell and flavor but it is a non-alcoholic beverage–basically like a beer that hasn’t been fermented.
Malta is a beverage that is enjoyed throughout the Caribbean and South America. However, if you have never had it, there is a 50/50 chance you may not like it.
I have introduced malta to many friends and it’s always hit or miss. It can be an acquired taste that you have to grow up enjoying. But I LOVE it and could drink it all day long.
Malta can be found at most Latin markets, Asian markets, or if you’re lucky, the international aisle of your local supermarket. Nothing quite tastes like malta, but either Coca-Cola, root beer, or a brown sugar simple syrup can be used as a substitution.
What I love about slow cooker recipes is that you can walk away while you cook pulled pork and do some laundry, run a mile, or try to paint a replica of the Mona Lisa while it braises. When you come back from doing whatever super productive thing you were doing (taking a nap), you will be greeted with tender, juicy goodness. What can be better than that!?
And if there is one slow cooker pulled pork recipe you want to greet you, it’s this one, especially if you are a fan of a killer pulled pork sandwich.
I freaking love this recipe! It so easy and so stinking tasty! It is best served on toasted hamburger buns topped with store-bought pickles, tangy coleslaw (try this one from Natasha’s Kitchen) or with my refrigerator pickled salad piled in the middle. These crunchy additions take this pulled pork sandwich to another level!
Tips for Malta BBQ Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork Recipe
- Allow the meat to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, best if marinated overnight.
- If boneless pork shoulder isn’t available, use bone-in pork shoulder and allow more time to cook. Approximately 10 hours on LOW and 6 hours on HIGH. The pork is ready when it easily shreds. Another cut of meat you can use is pork roasts or pork butt.
- If you cannot find malta, you can use cola or root beer instead. You can also use 1/2 cup of brown sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water.
- I would not recommend substituting garlic powder for fresh garlic. But if you absolutely must, 1/8 teaspoon may be added per clove of garlic.
- Make sure to use the small 7-oz can of chipotle sauce. This is not the same as canned chipotle peppers and you cannot simply puree a can of chipotle peppers. You can substitute the sauce with 2 chipotle peppers.
The best part about this is the leftovers because you get to eat it AGAIN! Don’t have buns? You can enjoy the pulled pork wrapped in a toasted tortilla, on a salad, or with eggs!
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- 4 lb boneless pork shoulder
- 6 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbs white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 7 oz can chipotle sauce
- 1 12 oz bottle malta
- 1/2 cup bitter orange marinade
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 cups coleslaw
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.
Set the slow cooker to sear and place the pork in the slow cooker and brown the pork on all sides. Add chipotle salsa, malta, bitter orange marinade & tomato paste, stir.
Cover and cook for 8 hours cooking on LOW or 4 hours cooking on HIGH.
In a container combine hot water, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Cover and shake until well combined. Toss coleslaw with pickling juice. Cover and set aside.
Shred meat using a fork or thongs, season with salt to taste, serve on buns with slaw.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1033Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 42gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 3059mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 40gProtein: 56g