Slow-Cooked Spicy Portuguese Cacoila

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. + marinating Cook: 6 hours


12 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
You're probably used to pulled pork coated with barbecue sauce and made into sandwiches. Portuguese pulled pork is a spicy dish often served at our large family functions. Each cook generally adds his or her own touches that reflect their taste and Portuguese heritage. A mixture of beef roast and pork can be used. —Michele Merlino, Exeter, Rhode Island
Slow-Cooked Spicy Portuguese Cacoila Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder butt roast, cut into 2-in. pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 bolillos or hoagie buns, split, optional


  1. Place pork in a large bowl; add wine, garlic and seasonings. Turn to coat; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Transfer pork mixture to a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker; add onion and water. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  3. Skim fat. Remove bay leaves. Shred meat with 2 forks. If desired, serve with a slotted spoon on bolillos.

Nutrition Facts

1 sandwich: 489 calories, 20g fat (7g saturated fat), 90mg cholesterol, 1075mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 34g protein.