Winter weather has been in full force in New York this week. We’ve been blanketed with that awful combination of rain and snow (snowain, if you will) that doesn’t quite merit an umbrella but still requires busting out the waterproof boots. The storm was the only nudge I needed to dust off my trusty slow cooker for an 8-hour braise involving all the good things in life: pork, beer and chocolate.
Yes, indeed. Chocolate. It’s my go-to ingredient for kicking up the flavor of savory spice rubs, and it provided just the flavor punch needed for these Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos. Pork shoulder is slathered in fresh garlic and spices before going for a long, slow simmer in a hot tub of beer and orange juice. The result is a tender-tastic mountain of pulled pork that’s piled high in corn tortillas and topped off with pickled onions and crumbled Cotija cheese. Who needs carolers when your holiday guests will be singing your praises?
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Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
Yield: 10 - 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 8 hours
1 (4- to 5-pound) pork shoulder
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoons cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
12 ounces beer (See Kelly's Notes)
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade salsa
Taco toppings: diced avocado, sour cream, cheese or pickled red onions
Rub the pork shoulder on all sides with the minced garlic, massaging it into the meat.
Combine the salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper and cocoa powder in a small bowl then sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the meat. Transfer the pork shoulder to the slow cooker then add the lime juice, orange juice, salsa and beer.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on "low" for 8 hours, or on "medium" for 6 hours.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker (leaving behind any liquid), shred and serve in corn tortillas with assorted toppings.
You can opt for a Spanish-style beer, such as Negra Modelo or Corona, or just use whatever beer you have on hand.
Recipe inspired by Pinch of Yum.