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Braised Pulled Pork Tacos

Braised Pulled Pork Tacos

Alright folks, I live in Texas, and if there is one thing us Texans love, it's a great taco. You just cannot go wrong; breakfast, lunch, or dinner! There are an infinite different combinations that make tacos a favorite of mine; they may not always be traditional Mexican tacos, but I love fusion and alternative options so just about anything will fly as long as it's delicious.

braised pork spices

This time around, I'm going for the classic pulled pork taco, a staple in the Southwest!

coriander seeds, up close and personal with spices

It's nice to take a few hours to roast a pork shoulder from time to time; I just love how easy it is, while filling up your house with delicious aromas and spices.

braised pulled pork tacos prep

I recently purchased a dutch oven, and I love it! I had never owned one, and would use modifications to create one, or just rely on my crockpot. What I love most about the dutch oven is the fact that its so much more versatile than the crockpot, I have the chance to cook it in my oven, and also how I could essentially roast this pork in 4 hours, which was a lot quicker than the 6-8 hour methods I've used in the past with the crockpot.

taco ingredient preparation and condiments

And of course, toppings to compliment! I mean, after all, what kind of taco isn't loaded up with delicious toppings and additional flavors? Sticking with the classics, I used avocado, radishes, pickled onions, cilantro, and cojita cheese. I'll eat avocado any day, which is a far cry from who I was 5+ years ago. I used to think avocados were gross; perhaps it was a consistency thing, but I wasn't a fan of guacamole either. That's pretty much blasphemy in the Southwest! My how things have changed. One of my dear college roommates truly introduced me to avocados, and because of her I decided to give them a try. Boy was I wrong about this delicious fruit, and I haven't looked back since. Positive life choices my friends.

homemade pickled red onions

I would be lying if I said I didn't base this entire meal off of the pickled onions I had previously made...So yeah, I decided to roast a pork shoulder, all so I could top it with these delicious additions. What can I say, besides I was feeling inspired and hungry. In fact, just looking at these photos is making me hungry all over again. So grateful for leftovers.

braised pulled pork tacos

close up of pulled pork tacos with pickled red onions, avocado, and feta

Well, that's a wrap folks! If you've got some time to spare, a pork shoulder lying around, and an itch to cook, then give this a try and let me know what you think!

RECIPE

3 lb pork shoulder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
2 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced

3/4 cup lime juice (roughly 6-8 limes)
1/2 cup orange juice (2 medium oranges)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup beer (or water)
corn tortillas
bunch of cilantro, for serving
crumbled cojita or queso fresco, for serving
radishes, thinly sliced for serving
avocado, sliced for serving
favorite salsa, for serving

TO MAKE

In a spice grinder or mortar, finely grind the coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and Mexican oregano. In a mixing bowl, combine freshly ground seasonings with remaining cloves, cumin, garlic, shallot, lime juice, orange juice, and olive oil. Whisk until combined. 

Season pork shoulder with salt and place into a large bowl or baking dish; pour marinade over pork shoulder and rub generously. Cover and allow the pork to marinate for at least 12 hours overnight in the refrigerator. 

Next day, remove pork from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 325°F. At this point, I transferred my pork into my dutch oven, but if you're already using a baking dish, no need to transfer. 

Add one cup of  beer or water to the roasting pan/dish. Cover with lid or foil. Slow roast the pork shoulder for about 3 hours, or until tender enough to pull apart with two forks. 

Remove from oven and shred the pork. 

To assemble, warm tortillas and top with pork, cilantro, radish, pickled onions, avocado, and cojita cheese, and salsa of choice. Squeeze an additional slice of lime for extra citrus flavor. 

Serve and enjoy! 

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