Enough for a crowd, or to freeze some for later
When I try to do a Taco Tuesday, we end up with a taco week, as I’m sure you can imagine when you see this recipe! If you’re not cooking for a crowd, you can reduce this shredded pork for tacos recipe, but I would recommend you make it all and then freeze some for later. It’s nice to be able to grab some meat that’s already cooked up for nights that you are busy…or even nights that you aren’t busy, because you could be reading a book!
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This is easier than it sounds
This recipe calls for some pretty fresh ingredients, but don’t be intimidated, it’s really not hard to squeeze some juice out of an orange and lemon, and since you’re going to be using a blender, you don’t even have to chop the garlic and onion, so it’s pretty quick. These ingredients are worth it if you want the best shredded pork for your tacos.
If you have some older kids, like I do (13 and 11), you wont even have to clean out your own blender when you’re done! It’s their job! Since my 13 year old wont follow my blog, we probably wont get to see a “Mom!” comment. Bummer. If you do have to clean your own blender, here’s my trick: Put some soap and water in it, and blend it for a bit. Then just rinse it out and you’re done!
I added the cocoa powder to my recipe when, years ago, I discovered that it was one of the secret ingredients in the “gravy” at my favorite Mexican restaurant that I had been trying to replicate. I just couldn’t get the flavor right, and then I did some massive research, and discovered that cocoa powder gets used in a lot of recipes that aren’t dessert! It really adds a dimension to the flavor, so I recommend you try it! I also recommend you put it in your enchilada sauces and chili as well.
Cutting Up the Roast for Smaller Chunks
I started out with a 10 lb pork roast. If yours is smaller, you can easily adjust the recipe below, just select a smaller size and watch all the ingredients adjust themselves. Such a cool gadget!
I cut the roast off the bones into chunks, because it increases the area that I can sear in the pan. Searing it will add a depth of flavor to the recipe, making the best shredded pork for your tacos.
The Remaining Meat on the Bone is for Broth!
I wasn’t worried about a little bit of meat being left on the bone, because I intended to turn it into a nice pork broth for later. Pretty awesome when you can make shredded pork for tacos, and a broth, all off of one roast. You can see that there was still quite a bit of meat on there, which is just fine.
Searing the Meat for Added Flavor
For best results, you’ll want to sear these chunks just 2 or 3 at a time. Putting too many in at once will cause them to steam, which isn’t as good as the sizzling, carmelized, slightly crispy edge you’ll get if you sear them right.
Here’s what my meat looked like once I had it all seared. It can be tempting to just throw it right in the pot, but trust me, this step is worth it. Since you’ll be making a lot of shredded pork for tacos, you want that shredded pork to be good! It’s worth it.
This is what the pork looked like coming out of the oven. I love using my cast iron dutch oven for recipes that goes from the burner into the oven. You see all the juices? We will definitely be keeping that! I stole about a cup of it for cooking my rice (I added it to the cooking liquids, and it gave it a wonderful flavor), and poured the shredded pork right back into this pot and tossed it, to moisten it back up.
You’ll take those pork chunks out and begin shredding them, and then put them in the oven on a baking sheet if you want them a little crispier.
The Beautiful Results
I think you’ll love your shredded pork tacos.
This recipe will make enough for a crowd, around 40 tacos or so...but I love to freeze some for later when it's just for the family. You can always get a smaller roast and reduce the recipe. It's braised in fresh, real ingredients, and gets braised and then broiled, rather than fried, so that it's healthy for you while still being crunchy and juicy at once.
- 10 lb bone in pork roast
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters I used red
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 8 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 3 cups broth, beer, or combination 12 fl oz=1 1/2 cup
- 2 tbsn chili powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder Adds depth to the flavor
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 cup broth
Preheat oven to 350°
Cut meat off the bone into large chunks. (Don't worry if you don't get it all, that bone will make a great broth later.)
Heat oil in large dutch oven, I recommend cast iron, until the meat sizzles when it touches it.
In batches of 2-4, sear the meat chunks on all sides to seal in moisture.
Meanwhile, place the onion, garlic, honey, orange juice, and lemon juice into the blender and blend until smooth.
Once all meat has been seared and removed from the pan, add the vinegar and deglaze (scrape a little at the bottom of the pan, and allow the vinegar to pick up the browned food for flavor).
Add the broth and/or beer, tomato paste, and bay leaves. Simmer and stir until tomato paste dissolves.
Place meat back into the pot, and cover with the blended mixture, all the seasoning, and then pour the broth over the top.
Place lid on pot and bake for 2 hours, then remove the lid and bake for 30 more minutes
Remove pork from pot and let cool until you can handle it (I speed the process by putting it in the fridge for a minute). Keep the pot with the juices to put the meat back into.
Once you can handle it, turn the oven to broil (HI) and shred the pork with two forks on a couple baking sheets.
Broil the shredded pork until it has the desired crispiness. Stir half way through.
Put shredded pork back into the pot with the juices (I stole about a cup out of mine to cook rice with), and toss it until it's covere.
Use it with all your favorite taco ingredients!
The nutritional information is figured as though you chose all beer in place of any broth, because it's probably the highest calorie and carbohydrate option, and I want to be as honest as I can. Also, this information isn't precise.