RECIPE: Slow Cooker Italian Pork with Gremolata over Rice

This recipe I can't take credit for. This is a recipe I found on Epicurious when searching what to do with pork shoulder. I was tired of BBQ/western/taco/Tex-Mex recipes that are common for this cheaper cut of meat. I ran across this recipe which looked not only SUPER easy but had really unique flavor profile: smokey/savory marinade with a zesty herbal lemony drizzle.

This recipe has quickly become a family favorite. My family eats it up and barely leaves any leftover for lunch the following day. If you have a smaller roast, no worries. This recipe works just fine with smaller roasts. You just cut down your crock pot time a little. Aldi has some awesome pricing on pork shoulder. Sometimes I cut a larger roast in half and freeze the other half for another day, making this recipe a super affordable weeknight meal. We serve it with rice cooked in our rice cooker, so this is a very hands-off meal to boot.

Slow Cooker Italian Pork with Gremolata over Rice

Adapted from Epicurious


Pork Rub Marinade:

8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 boneless pork shoulder roast, tied (about 5-6 lbs.)


1 large shallot, chopped
2 cups basil leaves, chopped
1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup oregano leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Cooked white rice


First, make the marinade the night before and prep the pork. Mix garlic, oil, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub all over pork. I then place the pork in the slow cooker insert, cover and let it sit overnight.

In the morning, place pork in slow cooker, cover, and cook on low until meat is fork-tender and falling apart, 7 1/2–8 hours. If you like to slice it, take it out when it's fork tender but still firm. We prefer it falling apart and melt-in-your-mouth tender, with the fat and cartilage melted down completely.

The gremolata needs to sit for a bit for the flavors to meld.  Mix shallot, basil, oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Process until herbs are very finely chopped. Cover and let rest up for up to two days in the refrigerator. I make it the morning I cook the pork. I bring the gremolata out to bring up to room temperature for a few hours before serving.

When pork is ready, transfer it to a cutting board. With a fork, separate the pork out in servable pieces/chunks and transfer to a platter. Serve with cooked white rice and a little drizzle of gremolata sauce over the meat. Serve with additional sauce alongside for guests to drizzle more as needed.


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