I’ve made pulled pork so many times that it has sort of become my signature dish. My friends and family love it and I get requests to make it for picnics and parties. When cooking for a crowd of people, y’all know I love my slow cooker. I wrote a whole blog post about all the many reasons why over here. I love that it takes a few minutes of prep and then you can set it to cook overnight or all day while you do other things. Also, as a bonus making it in the slow cooker or Instant Pot will free up your oven space to cook side dishes or desserts!
I’ve done pulled pork dozens of different ways over the years. I’ve used a black vinegar and star anise based braising liquid for a Chinese style pork dish. I’ve made it heavy on the rosemary and wine for a ragu pasta sauce. I’m very partial to adding ginger beer, cola, or even a bottle of Corona in there – whatever I have in the fridge. It’s the perfect recipe to experiment with and almost impossible to muck up.
I never measure any ingredients when I slow cook, and somehow it always turns out delicious. However this time I wrote everything down so I could share the recipe with you! You’re welcome.
Next time it will probably taste a little different, but that’s totally ok! Don’t worry too much because you will have an opportunity after it’s been cooking away for hours to taste and adjust the seasoning. After the meat is cooked and falling apart, I like to remove it and then reduce the liquid a little bit to intensify the flavours. You might need to add some salt or a little vinegar or sweetness.
Once it’s shredded and added back into the liquid, it’s ready to go! Pulled pork is so delicious and versatile. You can make so many different dishes. I often freeze some in small containers, because you never know when it will come in handy.
Some of my favourite ways to use pulled pork are…
- Sandwiches or burgers (with coleslaw and pickles please!)
- Pulled Pork, Apple & Cider Pie
- Topping for nachos or loaded fries
- Burrito Bowls
- Pasta sauce (great in lasagne)
- Tacos (goes great with a pineapple and coriander salsa)
- Enchiladas or Quesadillas
- Epic Mac & Cheese
The recipe I’m sharing today is for Loaded Sweet Potatoes topped with pulled pork (of course), black beans, cheese and your favourite fresh toppings. I used cherry tomatoes, avocado, crunchy radish and coriander with a big dollop of yoghurt and a squeeze of fresh lime. Hot sauce is optional but highly recommended.
I love the idea of using sweet potatoes as the base for this dish because it’s a much healthier choice than nachos or fries but still packed with flavour. The flavour combination was super delicious. I could honestly eat this any night of the week!
Pulled Pork Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Pulled Pork (you will have some leftover)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 kg pork shoulder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (or maple syrup also works)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
Loaded Sweet Potatoes
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 1 can black beans
- Mozzarella cheese
- Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Avocado, thinly sliced
- Fresh Coriander
- Yoghurt or sour cream
- Hot sauce
- Lime Juice
I used a Multi Cooker similar to an Instant Pot to make my Pulled Pork. You can also make this in a stand alone slow cooker or the oven. If you don’t have one, just do the first step in a fry pan and transfer everything to your cooking vessel afterwards.
To make the pulled pork, put the olive oil, onion and garlic into the bowl of your Multi Cooker on the Sauté setting until they start to soften. Add the pork and start to brown on all sides.
Add the onion, garlic and pork to your cooking vessel now and then add the rest of the ingredients. If using the oven, cover tightly with foil and place into a very low oven (140°C / 285°F)for at least 4-5 hours or until the meat is falling apart. I use the Slow Cook setting on my Multi Cooker for up to 9 hours.
When the meat is cooked, I like to remove it from the pot and reduce the liquid down by at least 1 third in volume and keep tasting for seasoning. You may need to add salt, pepper and a little more vinegar. In the meantime, shred the pork with two forks and then return it to the cooking liquid. Keep it warm until ready to serve.
To make the Loaded Sweet Potatoes, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, place on a flat baking tray and roast for 1 hour.
Carefully slice in half lengthwise and top each half generously with pulled pork, black beans and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Add your favourite fresh toppings – I like cherry tomatoes, avocado, radish and fresh coriander, but this is totally up to you. To serve, top with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream, a squeeze of lime and hot sauce, if you like it spicy!