Easy Pork Asado Recipe

Pork asado is a refreshingly easy dish to prepare with a slightly confusing provenance to understand. So let's break it down: in Spanish, the word "asado" means roasted or grilled, but in fact almost all pork asado recipes call for braising, which of course, refers to slow and steady cooking in a sealed cooking vessel. So there's confusion point #1 for you. Second, while this dish has a Spanish name, it is of Chinese origin (via: Ang Sarap). That's #2. And for confusing twist #3, we have the have the fact that many pork asado recipes are heavily influenced by Filipino cuisine, not Chinese or Spanish cooking. If you know your history and geography a bit, you'll know, however, that both the Chinese and the Spanish had a heavy influence in the Philippines, and thus it all makes sense in the end.

If you're still confused about the provenance of this dish, just let that go and instead embrace the ease of prepping it, and the flavors in store for you. "This is super easy," says chef and recipe developer Jason Goldstein of Chop Happy. "Drop, season, cook, and enjoy!" But how to enjoy? Goldstein adds: "We have Thursday taco nights in my apartment. Sometimes we buy them but mostly it's slow cooker pork tacos. [It] made Thursday's the new weekend!"

Gather your ingredients for easy pork asado

You don't need many ingredients to make this recipe, but you will want quite a bit of pork. As laid out here, Goldstein's recipe calls for three pounds of pork shoulders, in fact, with the meat cut into medium-sized chunks. You'll also need a couple teaspoons of both salt and pepper, several teaspoons of chili seasoning (or of a good taco seasoning), the juice of one lime, and a handful cilantro, chopped, for garnish and a bit of added flavor.

And don't reduce the quantity even if you only need a smaller amount right now, as this meat keeps well in the freezer for up to six months once cooked. 

Season then slow cook the pork

This recipe is so simple it is almost a one-step deal, if you don't count gathering your ingredients (and a bit of prep) as a step. Simply place the pork chunks in the slow cooker and add the salt, pepper, and chili seasoning, then mix them together a bit, cover the slow cooker with its lid, then set it to high and let it cook for four hours.

Okay one more little step: when the cooking is done, uncover the slow cooker and add the lime juice, stirring to mix it in, and plan to garnish the meat with that fresh chopped cilantro when you serve it.

Serving ideas for pork asado

As noted, Jason Goldstein loves using this tender, juicy pork in tacos, but he adds that it's also great on a sandwich, in a burrito bowl, served in a hash, served beside eggs, and on it goes. Really there's no wrong way to enjoy this meat and so many right ways. You can also use it with dishes from myriad cuisines, including (of course) Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish, but also in many Mexican, Central American, or South American dishes, or right beside some good ol' American BBQ classics.

Go ahead and make a big batch and get on with the culinary experimentation!

The minimum safe temperature for pork

Any decent slow cooker in good working order should be able to easily cook pork shoulder chunks to well within the bounds of food safety in the time allotted here. That said, the first time you make this recipe, it's a good idea to use a food thermometer to check a chunk or two of the meat.

According to the USDA, pork should be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit in order to ensure its safety. This is down from the former recommended internal temperature for pork, which was 160 degrees. Try not to overcook the meat, but always err on the side of caution.

Easy Pork Asado Recipe
5 from 14 ratings
Whether it's for a burrito bowl, taco, or atop rice, this pork asado recipe is as easy as it gets. The slow cooker handles the work and delivers a tasty meal.
Prep Time
2
minutes
Cook Time
4
hours
Servings
8
servings
Pork asado served on a plate
Total time: 4.03 hours
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds pork shoulders (cut in chunks)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 3 teaspoons chili seasoning (or taco seasoning)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 handful cilantro chopped (for garnish)
Directions
  1. Place the pork in the slow cooker and add the salt, pepper, and chili seasoning.
  2. Mix and cover, then set to cook for 4 hours on high.
  3. Uncover, add the lime juice, and mix all ingredients together. 
  4. Garnish with cilantro and use in sandwiches, on tacos, in a burrito bowl, or however sounds great!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 409
Total Fat 30.7 g
Saturated Fat 10.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 120.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 0.2 g
Sodium 419.3 mg
Protein 29.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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