Mojo Pork Bowls
with Cuban rice and beans / bell peppers / avocados
Mojo is a Cuban sauce flavored with citrus, garlic and a bit of spice. We slow cook pork in this flavorful sauce and serve it shredded over rice and beans for a Caribbean-style bowl that can be easily customized. This recipe got great reviews when it was first featured in May 2016, but we've added sauteed bell peppers and spinach for even more texture and color.
- Onions - 1 , chopped
- Garlic - 6 cloves , peeled
- Jalapenos - 1 , diced
- Pork, boneless shoulder roast (enough for 2 nights) - 2 lbs (sometimes labeled pork butt)
- Orange juice (bottled or fresh-squeezed) - 3/4 cup
- Limes - 2 , zest of
- Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1 1/2 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Bay leaves (opt) - 2
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 2/3 cup
- Beans, black (14oz / 397g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cumin - 1/4 tsp
- Vinegar, red or white - 1/2 tsp
- Bell peppers, any color - 1 , thinly sliced
- Onions, medium - 1/2 , thinly sliced
- Limes - 1/2 , wedges
- Cilantro - 1 Tbsp , chopped
- Avocados - 1
- Lime juice - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Spinach, baby - 5 oz
- Mojo pork (ingredients listed separately) - ~3 cups
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - 4 Tbsp
Make rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Bell peppers / Onions (for both the pork and bowls) / Garlic / Jalapenos - Prep as directed. Store bell peppers and onions for the bowls in one container. Combine onions for the pork with garlic and jalapenos. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Slow-cook pork - This makes enough for 2 nights. In a slow cooker combine pork, onions (for the pork), garlic, jalapenos, orange juice, lime zest, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Set cooker to low and cook until pork is falling apart and tender, 7 to 8 hours (or 4 to 5 hours on high). (Note: If you prefer not to use the slow-cooker, you can also prepare the pork by browning it in a Dutch oven with a bit of oil, adding all remaining ingredients, and baking it covered at 325F / 163C until pork is falling apart and tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.) (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Lime wedges / Cilantro - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Beans - Drain and rinse.
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When pork is finished cooking, discard bay leaves. Transfer pork to a cutting board and roughly chop. Return pork to slow cooker and combine with cooking liquid. Taste and season with some additional salt and pepper, if needed. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Mash avocados with cilantro and lime juice. Season with some salt.
Heat a nonstick pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (the portion for the bowls) and then bell peppers and onions (for the bowls) to heated oil. Saute until peppers and onions are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add spinach with a pinch of salt and saute just until spinach is wilted. Set aside and return pan to heat.
Reduce heat to medium. Add oil (the portion for the rice and beans) and then beans, cumin and vinegar to heated oil. Saute for 1 minute. Stir in rice just until heated through.
Divide rice and beans between serving bowls and top with shredded pork (remember to reserve half for Thursday), sauteed peppers / spinach, mashed avocado, yogurt and lime wedges. Alternatively, just set all the components out and let everyone assemble their bowls at the table. Enjoy!