Chile-Braised Pork Shoulder with Taco Fixings

Pulled Pork.jpg


KEEP IT COOL.  Offset this spicy pork with a heap of fresh fixings – from Avocado Crema and cilantro to Summer Tomato Salsa with a spritz of lime. 

Serves 6 to 8.


2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground paprika

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 (4 to 4.5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder or butt

1 cup apple cider or unfiltered apple juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1/2 grapefruit

Juice of 1/2 orange

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro sprigs

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  2. Combine the sugar, chili powder, paprika, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and stir to mix.

  3. Place the pork, fatty side up, in a large roasting pan or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the apple cider and vinegar over the pork. Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit and orange over and add the cilantro sprigs. Rub the spice mixture into the pork to coat completely.

  4. Cover the pan tightly with the lid or foil and place in the oven to roast, undisturbed, 2 1/2 hours. Uncover, raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and cook until the skin is crispy and the pork breaks apart easily when tested with a fork, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let rest about 15 minutes before pulling it into chunks. 


20 corn tortillas

4 cups shredded mixed romaine and cabbage

Summer Tomato Salsa or your favorite salsa

1 cup (4 ounces) grated Cheddar cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco

1/2 white onion, minced

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

Avocado Crema

4 limes, cut into wedges

  1. While the pork is resting, heat the tortillas over an open flame or in a grill pan, about 30 seconds per side. Stack the heated tortillas and wrap in a clean dish towel or foil to keep warm. Put each of the topping ingredients in its own bowl and set the bowls out for guests to serve themselves.

  2. Pull the pork into chunks and pile on a platter. Scatter the limes around the pork roast and let guests dig in, adding a little of th epulled pork to a warm tortilla with their choice of toppings.


PORK TOSTADAS  Trade tacos for tostadas.  When you remove the pork from the oven, increase the temperature to 400 degrees F.  Lay the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with oil.  Place in the oven to crisp, about 10 minutes.  Remove and add your favorite toppings.


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