There’s nothing like shredded pork tacos! The meat is so tender and juicy that it almost falls apart. You can trim some of the fat but know that it really brings a lot of flavors to the meat. And the melting fat turns into the most irresistible jelly that keeps the shredded pork so moist! Plus the meat is covered in a finger-licking spicy and tomatoey sauce that will make you want to come back for more.
The addition of coffee really elevates the sauce and you get a nice kick from the hot pepper paste. I’m always looking for more tortillas to mop up the juices left on my plate! With shredded lettuce, diced tomato and avocado, grated cheese, you can have a full meal by making shredded pork tacos. But the pork is seriously good on its own. I can’t get enough of it!
You can get so many meals out of a cheap cut like pork butt and slow cooking makes it so easy! You only have to whip the sauce up by mixing everything together with the help of a food processor or immersion blender. Then you place the meat in a Dutch oven, cover it in sauce, add some stock and coffee and here you go. You can forget about it for 3h and get stuff done in the meantime. I seriously love this recipe for shredded pork tacos and it’s now part of our rotating menu!
SPICE THINGS UP
You can put more chilies or hot pepper paste in the sauce for an extra kick. Every hot pepper paste has a different flavor profile and will give a different taste to the sauce. Be mindful of this as Mexican chipotle paste is smokier, Korean gochujang is slightly sweet, Turkish acı biber salçası is more bitter, Tunisian harissa is aromatic. Don’t hesitate to make these shredded pork tacos according to your preferred hot pepper paste or what’s more readily available to you!
ENHANCE THE FLAVOR
I skip this step because I’m usually in a hurry but before tipping the vegetables into the food processor you could char them to intensify their flavor. To do that, fry the vegetables whole in a heavy-bottomed frying pan until their skins turn black and start to blister. Be careful when you turn them (preferably with a pair of tongs).
Alternatively, you could get a similar result by placing them on a tray and cooking them in an oven preheated at 200°C (400°F) for 30 to 40 min. You can greatly speed up the process by placing them under the broiler but you’ll have to stay nearby because they can burn pretty quickly.
One of the things I love best about this shredded pork tacos recipe is that if you have any leftovers, you’re in for a real treat! The pork tastes even better the day after having infused in the sauce overnight in the fridge. The flavors are much more complex and subtle and the coffee stands out more. I love serving the leftovers with a simple bowl of rice and a fresh salsa or by making a tray of loaded nachos. Either way, you’ll be in spiced and tender meat heaven.
PORK BUTT = LOW AND SLOW
I used to stay clear of pork because I grew eating super dry pork chops. I guess my dad was overcooking them but for the longest time I thought that all pork cuts, cooked in any way, would always end up dry and stringy. In addition, I was under the impression that cooking meat longer would dry it out. Obviously, I was totally wrong, given that if you cook pork butt slow enough the meat’s muscle fibers will have time to relax and the collagen will melt and turn into gelatin. If you don’t start out with a lean cut of pork slow cooking will produce tender and moist meat.
I’m so glad that Sabrina Ghayour changed my perception of pork with her fabulous Jamaican pork curry! Otherwise I would never have started experimenting with pork and a couple of years ago I would have never stuck a pork butt in the oven for 3h. Silly me. I’m gonna use the fact that I’m not a big meat eater as my excuse not to have looked into the science of slow-cooked pork before.
HOW TO CLEAN A DUTCH OVEN
If the inside of your Dutch oven looks particularly dark or if you have bits of burned shredded pork, cover with boiling water, add 1 tsp of baking soda and let everything soak overnight. Then scrub with your usual sponge. Don’t use steel wool as it will scratch the enamel and permanently damage your Dutch oven.
Are you looking for other meaty recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
- Fried chicken burger
- Köfte (Turkish meatballs)
- Corned beef sandwich
Shredded pork tacos
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 tacos 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow roast
- Cuisine: Mexican
There’s nothing like shredded pork tacos! The meat is so tender and juicy that it almost falls apart and it’s covered in the most irresistible finger-licking spicy and tomatoey sauce. Seriously, I dare you not to look for more tortillas to mop up the juices left on your plate!
For the shredded pork:
- 40g sesame seeds (¼ cup)
- 2 tbsp hot pepper paste, I used harissa
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 green chili, deseeded
- 1 onion, peeled
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 480g fresh or canned tomatoes (17oz)
- 1kg deboned pork butt (2 ⅕ pounds), also called Boston butt or Boston shoulder
- 500ml chicken stock (2 cups)
- 120ml black coffee (½ cup)
For the tacos:
- 6 corn tortillas
- shredded lettuce
- diced tomatoes
- diced avocado
- grated cheese
- Toast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a dry skillet until they brown, about 3 min. Tip into a food processer along with the hot pepper paste and half of the oil and whizz until you have a smooth paste.
- Roughly chop the chili, onion, garlic cloves and tomatoes and tip into the food processor. Whizz until you have a smooth sauce and the paste is well incorporated. You could also use an immersion blender.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Heat the rest of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown the meat all over, about 2 to 4 min per side.
- Pour the sauce over the pork and pour the stock and coffee around it. Mix with a wooden spoon.
- Bring to a boil, then put the lid on the Dutch oven and cook in the oven for 3h or until the meat is really tender. If it isn’t easy to pull the meat apart with two forks, continue cooking in 30-min slots until the meat is fork-tender.
- Remove the pork from the Dutch oven and shred it into small pieces using two forks.
- In the meantime put the Dutch oven back over medium-high heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Let it cook until it has thickened nicely. Be careful to keep an eye on it!
- Take off the heat and tip the shredded pork into the Dutch oven. Mix with a wooden spoon and assemble your tacos according to your preferences.
Shredded pork will keep placed in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 2 tacos
- Calories: 1064
Keywords: shredded pork, pork butt recipe, slow roasted pork
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