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Slow-Cooker Cola Pulled Pork and Carnitas Rice Bowls

Slightly spicy, smoky and a little sweet, this slow-cooker cola pulled pork is so easy to make you'll be shocked and is so good that you'll be thankful it yields enough for several meals-worth to be stored in the freezer. One of our favourite ways to use it is on Carnitas Rice Bowls; hot cooked rice piled with the crispy "little meats" and a variety of flavourful toppings. Go wild and really pile it high. This meal pleases all ages and is easy on the wallet.
Author Rebecca Lindamood

Ingredients

For the Slow-Cooker Cola Pulled Pork:

  • 3 large onions
  • 6-9 pound bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 2 small cans of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 12 ounce bottles or cans of your preferred cola (I like Mexican Coca-Cola.)
  • For Each Serving of Carnitas Rice Bowls:
  • ½-3/4 cup slow-cooker cola pulled pork
  • 1 teaspoon canola peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups hot cooked rice

Optional, but oh-so-tasty:

  • salsa
  • shredded pepper jack or Cheddar cheese
  • Smoked Paprika and Chipotle Sauce
  • sour cream
  • sliced or diced avocado
  • finely diced red onion
  • chopped cilantro or parsley
  • lime wedges

Instructions

o Make the Slow-Cooker Cola Pulled Pork:

  • Cut the stem and root-ends from the onions, cut the onions in half and remove the peels. Arrange the halved onions over the base of the slow-cooker. Position the pork roast –fat layer facing up- on top of the onion halves. Pour the cans of chipotles in adobo (with all the sauce) over the pork shoulder then pour the colas over the chipotles. Cover the slow-cooker and cook on ‘LOW’ for 8-9 hours.
  • Cool the pork roast (still in its juices in the slow-cooker insert) completely until the pork fat congeals around the roast on top of the cooking juices. Scrape away and discard the fat. Transfer the pork roast to a cutting board and pour the remaining contents of the slow-cooker into a sieve positioned over a saucepan. Push the contents of the sieve with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Set the saucepan over medium high heat and bring it to a boil. Let it boil and reduce until it is about ¼ of the original volume.
  • Pull the cooled pork roast apart and scrape excess fat from the meat. Use your hands or two forks to shred the pork. To get smaller pieces of pork, you can chop through the pile of shredded pork with a large knife a couple of times. Put the pulled pork into a large mixing bowl, pour the reduced pan juices over the top and toss until the juices are evenly distributed.

To Freeze to Serve Later:

  • Divide the pulled pork between zipper top bags in meal-sized portions. Try to squeeze as much excess air from the bag as possible before sealing. Try to flatten the bag so that it takes up less room in the freezer. Freeze for up to 8 months.

To Serve from Fresh:

  • Put a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat and add the oil to the pan. Swirl to coat, then pile the pulled-pork in the center of the pan. Use a spatula to press the pork into the pan. Fry until the pork is brown around the edges. Use a spatula to flip the pork until crisp on the other side.

To Serve From Frozen:

  • Thaw the pulled pork in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Put a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat and add the oil to the pan. Swirl to coat, then pile the pulled-pork in the center of the pan. Use a spatula to press the pork into the pan. Fry until the pork is brown around the edges. Use a spatula to flip the pork until crisp on the other side.

To Assemble the Carnitas:

  • Put the hot, cooked rice in a bowl, use a spatula to place the crispy pork on top. Pile any or all of the toppings on the crispy pork.