Slow Cooker Sweet Tomatillo Chipotle Pork
So versatile and so delicious, this slow cooker sweet pork is simple and flavorful. Serve over rice or use the tasty pork in burritos, enchiladas, or on a salad. The options are endless!
This slow cooker sweet tomatillo chipotle pork has become my secret weapon meal. I’ve easily made it a dozen times in the last month or so.
Why, you ask? That’s a great question considering I have about a million other recipes calling my name.
Besides wanting to really perfect the recipe for the slow cooker, the main reason is because it is insanely delicious. And easy enough for a weeknight.
It’s also perfect for company (which it seems we’ve had a lot of the last little while, and I love it – I could totally open a bed and breakfast, and my life would be complete).
So versatile and so tasty, you’ll be wanting to send me your firstborn child to say thank you for this sweet pork recipe. (But please reconsider, and send me chocolate instead.)
One of the keys to this sweet tomatillo chipotle pork recipe is…well, tomatillos. I love tomatillos in so many things but I now seek them out just for this recipe (thankfully, they are super duper easy to find in my very average grocery store).
Plus, removing those papery skins and revealing the slightly tacky-feeling fruit (veg?) underneath is very rewarding.
And by rewarding, I mean, it’s rewarding to see my kids tackle that job.
To better understand the flavor profile of this pork, think of it as tender, juicy pork with a lightly sweet and slightly spicy (but not overly so) green salsa-ish vibe.
Most often, I serve this sweet pork over rice, because it’s so easy. But since the leftovers of this flavorful tomatillo pork freeze amazingly well, we’ve also had it atop a crisp, green salad and in burritos with cilantro lime rice, black beans and a little bit (ok, a lot) of cheese thrown in there.
Be still my heart.
In all my experimenting, I actually made this twice in the InstantPot, and while I love that little machine to the moon and back, I prefer this pork made in the slow cooker.
The ratio of sauciness to pork is just right, and I think the flavor of the long and slow cooking time makes it better.
However, I know you and your love for the ol’ pressure cooker, and so I’ve included some hints below in the notes if you want to tackle the sweet pork in the IP or other pressure cooker.
A huge thank you to Jess M, a sweet MKC reader, who inspired today’s recipe.
She sent me a recipe a while ago using similar flavors with chicken drumsticks, and after making it, I knew the fresh tomatillos, spicy chipotles, and hint of sweetness would be perfect with pork.
Read through the notes of the recipe for tips on different cuts of pork as well as a life-changing discovery I made in relation to chopped, canned chipotle chiles. I wanted to cry, I was so excited.
Slow Cooker Sweet Tomatillo Chipotle Pork
- 3 to 5 pound pork sirloin roast, see note for other cuts of pork
- Coarse kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ⅓ cup light or dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles (see note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 pounds tomatillos, about 20-25 tomatillos, husks removed, washed well, and cut in half (or quartered if they are large)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Hot cooked rice for serving
- Season all sides of the pork roast with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium or medium-high heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Add the roast and brown on each side until golden, about 1-2 minutes each side.
- Transfer the roast to the insert of a slow cooker.
- Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and add the chopped onions to the skillet (if the skillet is very dry, add another teaspoon or so of oil). Cook the onions, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
- Stir in the brown sugar, chipotle chiles, salt, and pepper.
- Scrape the mixture into the slow cooker with the pork.
- Add the halved (or quartered) tomatillos to the slow cooker, nestling them on the sides of the pork so they aren’t all piled on top, and pour in the broth.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Shred the pork (if the pork is lean and boneless, it can be done right in the slow cooker with two forks) and return it to the slow cooker, tossing it with the cooking liquid and tomatillos. Serve over hot, cooked rice (the pork filling is also delicious in burritos, tacos, on top of salad, etc.).
Recipe Source: inspired by a recipe sent to me by a wonderful reader, Jess M. (she sent a chicken drumstick recipe in a brown sugar, tomatillo and chipotle sauce) – thanks, Jess!