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Recipe Thursday-Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Posted on May 21st, 2015 | Posted in Main Course, Recipes

Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos (1 of 1)

I hosted a dinner party this past weekend, and since I had a busy day planned I made a slow cooker recipe. I was able to prep the Hatfield Boneless Pork Butt ahead of time and just let it cook during the day. Then shortly before guests arrived I prepped my toppings and sides. This recipe was delicious and the pork did just fall apart when it was done cooking. The Mexican seasonings were simple, but added just the right amount of spice to the pork, without overwhelming the actual flavor of pork, and the natural juices that came from slow cooking it gave it the perfect amount of sauce for serving.

Note from SimplyRecipes.com: Browning the pork butt first will help pull out wonderful flavor from the meat as well as intensifying the spice from the chiles and cumin. If you have the kind of slow cooker that allows you to do that in the cooker pan itself, great! Then you only need one pot. Otherwise you can easily brown the pork butt on the stove top. You can also skip the browning, though I don’t recommend it, it really does make a difference with the flavor.

Yield Serves 16

The Rub:
1/2 cup chili powder (CQC041, QT)
2 tablespoons kosher salt (CQS030, 3#, Diamond Crystal)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (NSU2125, 25#)
4 teaspoons ground cumin (CQC094, QT)
2 teaspoons cayenne (CQC017, QT)
2 teaspoons ground oregano (CQO074, 5#, Assagio Classico)
2 teaspoons onion powder (CQO044, QT)
2 teaspoons garlic powder (CQG028, QT)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (CQC065, QT)
Pinch of ground cloves (CQC072, QT)

The roast:
7 pound Hatfield boneless pork butt (HTF6748, 4/6#)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (992065, 6/1GAL, Town & Country)

Aioli (optional):
1/2 cup mayonnaise (992154, 4/1GAL, Oasis)
zest and juice of 1 lemon (00531, 12CT)
1 tablespoon horseradish (991060, 6/32OZ, Tulkoff)
2 tablespoons chopped basil (04972, 1#)

Whisk together the rub ingredients in a small bowl.

Pat the pork butt dry with paper towels and trim some of the excess fat, but not all of it. Rub the spice mix into the pork butt all over, reserving any leftover spice mix for later. Let sit at room temperature at least one hour or chill overnight.

Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. (If you are using a slow cooker with a removable container that can be used on the stovetop, use that, otherwise use a separate pan.) Place the pork butt in the pan and brown on all sides.

Place the pork butt in a slow cooker, and add any reserved spice rub. Cook on the low setting for 6 to 10 hours, until the pork is fall apart tender. I had to cut my pork butt in half which took about 8 hours to cook on low. Thankfully I was only hosting 6 friends so we had plenty of pork with only having half of it cooked!

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Cut into large chunks. Then use two forks to pull the meat apart into bite sized shreds. Return the shreds to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the juice from the roast. (Alternatively you can just shred the pork butt with two forks in the slow cooker itself.)

Note: I served some tacos with avocados and some with this aioli! To make the aioli, combine the mayo, lemon, horseradish and basil.  Mix well.

Serve with warm tortillas, avocados or aiolo, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, cilantro and a splash of lime juice or salsa.

Recipe adapted from SimplyRecipes.com

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