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Slow-Cooked Spicy Portuguese Cacoila

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + marinating Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 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


  • Place pork in a large bowl; add wine, garlic and seasonings. Turn to coat; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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  • Joseph
    Aug 13, 2020

    I wanted to love this because the picture was beautiful, but the cinnamon overpowers everything and it tastes like a bad candle. I threw out the entire dish because neither my wife nor I couldnt stomach it. Id suggest leaving out the cinnamon entirely or reduce it severely and it might be much better.

  • AKEmily
    Jul 2, 2020

    Tender, juicy, and flavorful! I substituted the dry red wine with a combo of red wine vinegar and chicken broth as that's what I had on hand. I'm always worried about meat getting dried out or tough, but this had a wonderful texture. The kids enjoyed it, too!

  • Amanda
    Mar 26, 2020

    No comment left