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If you have a “thing” for flavor and spice, this is for you. Slow Cooker Jerk Pork. Serious heat lives here. In fact, I’ve actually cut back the quantity of jerk from my original recipe because initially, it was a teary-eyed, can’t breathe – FIRE ON A BUN experience! This still packs a punch but in a good way.
My secret ingredient is Walker’s Wood Jerk Seasoning. [Shameless affiliate link: Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, 10 oz ] I know, I know — I’m a food blogger. I should be “making my own” jerk. I can see the disappointment in your eyes and I’m sorry I’ve let you down, but in my defense, once you’ve had this, you won’t even think about making it yourself! The flavors are so authentic. With scallions, fiery scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, nutmeg and thyme – this nose-tingling blend packs a punch and frankly, just ruins you for other “jerks”.
Depending on where you live, you might have trouble finding this seasoning — I’ve seen it in many ethnic markets — especially Carribbean markets, but I’ve also found it at some larger grocery stores and of course online at Amazon >> Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, 10 oz — after trying other jerk seasonings, I can honestly say that this is THE BEST! Don’t even bother with anything else. If you can’t find Walker’s Wood, I would recommend this delicious Carolina Pulled Pork instead – there’s no heat, but lots of smoke.
This “recipe” couldn’t be simpler, either. Cut the pork shoulder into large cubes and coat it with some of the jerk seasoning. But beware! Don’t touch the seasoning with your bare hands! Those scotch bonnet peppers are fierce! I place the pork in a large ziptop bag, add a few tablespoons of Walker’s Wood, seal the bag, then massage the seasoning into the meat from the safety of “outside the bag”. If you do get the seasoning on your hands, avoid touching your eyes — otherwise, it will BURN. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight and transfer the whole thing to your crock pot to cook low and slow.
When the pork is done, the meat is so tender and juicy that you’ll want to dive in headfirst! Use a pair of forks or tongs to pull apart the chunks of pork and shred it into a kind of meat confetti for your sandwiches.
Since this recipe has a lot of spice, you need a way to tame the fire. My favorite method is with a cooling, vinegary cole slaw. You can use a box grater or grating disc on your food processor to make short work of the cabbages and carrot.
The dressing is a standard blend of sugar, vinegar and mayonnaise with a little celery seed. Pour the dressing over the cole slaw and toss to coat. You can use any type of roll for these jerk pork sandwiches, but my personal favorites are either the King’s Hawaiian Rolls or Martin’s Potato Rolls. They both have a slight sweetness that really sets off the combo of the pork and coleslaw. This makes a lot of jerk pork – so invite your friends and neighbors — and make sure your fridge is stocked with beer!
Slow Cooker Jerk Pork
- 1 7- pound boston butt pork shoulder, trimmed of fat
- 1/2 cup Walker's Wood jerk seasoning
- 1/2-1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 head green cabbage
- 1/4 head red cabbage
- 1 carrot peeled
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Sandwich rolls or hamburger buns
- micro greens pea shoots or other sprouts
- Trim the pork shoulder and cube into large chunks. Transfer pork to a 2 gallon zip top storage bag. Add the jerk seasoning, seal the bag and massage the seasoning all over the pork. Refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, place the pork in the slow cooker, place the lid on top and turn it onto high for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours or until pork is very tender and falls apart easily.
Meanwhile make the coleslaw
- Use a food processor or box grater to shred the cabbage and carrot. Mix in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper and whisk. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss with salad tongs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork and transfer to a large bowl. Use a ladle to scoop the braising liquid into a large measuring cup.
- Transfer the pork to a large bowl and use two forks to pull and shred the pork. Return the pork to the slow cooker and add half a cup of vegetable broth and stir. Taste for seasoning. If it needs more liquid you can add more vegetable broth to tone down the heat slightly, or use some of the braising liquid to kick it up even more. Pork should be moist and juicy, but not soupy.
- To make the sandwiches, split the rolls in half, place a leaf of lettuce on the bottom bun followed by a scoop of jerk pork, a spoonful of coleslaw and a sprinkle of sprouts.
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