Pork in a Jalapeno-Tomatillo Sauce

3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
10 medium-sized tomatillos, finely chopped
10 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup pork or chicken broth
2 tablespoons canola oil

for the spice rub
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon ground jalapeno
1 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin

to serve:
chopped papalo

Mix the spice rub ingredients together. Rub them on the pork. In a large skillet heat the oil and then brown the roast well on all sides. Place roast in slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on low in the slow cooker for 6 1/2 hours, then on high for 1 1/2 hours. At this point the meat should shred easily with a fork. Remove roast from slow cooker. Shred into large pieces with a fork (or use your fingers) and set aside. Mash any solid bits of the sauce with a potato masher. Return the pork to slow cooker, and toss to evenly coat with sauce. Cook on high an additional 15 minutes. To serve: sprinkle with papalo and serve with warm tortillas and/or black beans and rice.

Note: You could also use a bone-in cut but be sure to remove all of the bones before shredding and serving! The bones add flavor but the boneless is a lot easier to work with.


My thoughts:

Pork is one of my favorite things to cook in the slow cooker. It just ends up with with the silkiest texture and just falls apart. For this recipe I adapted our favorite tomatillo sauce recipe for the slow cooker. Rather than blend the raw ingredients together, I slice them thinly and let the long cooking time turn them into sauce.

A bit of papalo AKA apaloquelite or summer cilantro, an herb that is pungent like cilantro but has a more citrusy taste, sprinkled on at the end adds a hint of freshness.


  1. Looks fantastic! I think I’ll make this next week. Thanks!

    Flavor a Deux

  2. eatingclubvancouver_js

    Thank you for the description of papalo. I’ve been curious about that herb since seeing it in one of the blogs.

    The pork looks yummilicious!

  3. I love tomatilloes! Have you considered pan roasting them first to impart more smoky flavor? I think this would lend well to this recipe 🙂

  4. I did try pan roasting and grilling the tomatillos when I was developing this recipe but I found that with the long cooking time in the slow cooker the smoky flavor wasn’t as apparent as one would think. So to cut down on prep, I didn’t bother this time. But roasting/grilling them is perfect for the fresh sauce or if you have lots of extra time.

  5. This sounds wonderful and we’re all about using the crock pot in the summer months. I’ll have to try this next week!

  6. We made this last night and it was killer!
    Might be the best of many excellent recipes we have tried form your site.
    Looking forward to the leftovers later this week, planning to have them as tacos.