This weekend was the Memphis in May World BBQ Championship in Memphis, TN. And if you’ve been following me…then you know I love a good BBQ! Can’t you imagine all of that WONDERFUL BBQ pork smoke swirling through the air?!?! Gah…what a fun weekend that would be! My friend, Chris Lilly, and the Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ team from Decatur, actually went home Grand Champion for a record 4th time in the Competition’s History! And I’m in total awe of this achievement. Much congrats, Big Bob Gibson’s…still making Alabama proud!!
So with all of the Facebook and Twitter posts I saw this weekend about Pulled Pork, Ribs and BBQ sauces…it was clear that I NEEDED to cook some pulled pork. But not your traditional BBQ pulled pork or sauce or sandwich. I wanted some tacos. Some smokey, sweet & spicy pulled pork tacos. With a crunchy slaw. And cheese, of course.
Chipotle & Honey Pork Tacos with a Lime Radish Slaw. Score! I love Chipotle Peppers. They are smoked & dried jalapenos. So you get the best of both worlds. A little heat…a little smoke. And I decided on radishes & honey because I went to the always fabulous Pepper Place Farmers Market on Saturday and they both seemed to be calling my name!! Here is what else you will need….
I went to buy some pork and clearly everyone had the same idea I did this weekend, because there was no pork shoulder. So I used a boneless rib end pork roast (less fat than a shoulder). First thing you will need to do is season it well on both sides with salt & pepper. Then brown it on every single side (ends included) in a little oil & bacon fat. You just want to sear it for a about 4-5 minutes on each side (The ends will not take as long).
While this is searing, you want to get your onion, garlic & chipotle peppers chopped and then mix up your braising liquid.
Once your pork is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan while you brown the onion & garlic in the oil. This should only take a couple of minutes. Once the onions are translucent, add your pork back to the pan. Then pour the braising mixture over the meet. Spoon the onions on top as well. Since this is a braise…the liquid should only be about 3/4 way up the side of the meat. Don’t let the liquid cover the meat!
Now…just cover it and place in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours (based on 2 1/2 lbs) until fork tender for shredding. While that is cooking, mix up your slaw and let chill until ready to use. All you need is cabbage, radishes, honey, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, lime, salt & pepper. Very Simple.
Once the pork is done cooking, let it rest out of the heat before shredding. About 10 minutes. Remove the pork from the pan and shred it using 2 forks. Then spoon in the braising liquid as little or as much as you like. Just make sure you use enough so that the pork is very moist and packed with the chipotle and onion flavors.
And now it’s time to assemble your tacos! I used flour tortillas and just toasted them over my gas stove for a couple of minutes on each side. You can certainly use corn tortillas as well. Whatever your preference. Spoon on your meat, then your slaw and finally the queso fresco cheese! You can also add cilantro and more lime juice. And then…..just DIG IN!
These tacos are so easy to make and PACKED full of flavor. One pot is all you need. Or if you want to use a slow cooker, that would work just fine, too. These tacos have the perfect balance of smokey, sweet & spice with all of the ingredients together. Kind of like me, I guess! I kid, I kid. 🙂
Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Chipotle & Honey Pork Tacos with a Lime Radish Slaw
Inspired by Chef Michael Symon & the Local Farmers Market
2 1/2 lb Boneless Rib End Pork Roast (or 3-4 lb Bone-In Pork Shoulder)
1 tbsp Bacon Fat
1 1/2 tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil
1 Spanish Onion, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
1 tbsp Cumin
1/2 tbsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Lime, Juiced & Zested
1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 c. Water (or more if needed for braise. Can also sub Chicken Stock)
1 can (7 oz) Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, Finely Chopped & Adobo included
2 1/2 tbsp Honey
Salt & Pepper
Lime & Radish Slaw (recipe below)
Queso Fresco Cheese, Crumbled
Cilantro for Garnish
Preheat Oven 300 Degrees. Salt & pepper pork roast well on all sides. Then brown in vegetable oil & bacon fat mixture. Make sure to brown all sides including the ends. About 4-5 minutes each. While pork is browning, mix together braising liquid ingredients (Lime Juice, Lime Zest, Honey, Onion Powder, Cumin, Coriander, Water, Chipotle Peppers, Adobo, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt & Pepper to taste). Once the pork is browned, remove from pan and set aside. Next saute the onions & garlic in the oil just until onions begin turning translucent. About 2-3 minutes. Add Pork back to the pot and pour braising liquid on top making sure to also spoon on some of the sauteed onions & garlic. Cover & bake for 2 1/2 hours or until pork is fork tender and easy to shred. Let rest off of the heat for 10-15 minutes. Then shred using two forks. Spoon braising liquid into the meat for the extra moisture and for the added flavors of the onion & chipotle peppers.
Assemble tacos topping with the queso fresco cheese, cilantro & extra lime juice if needed.
Lime & Radish Slaw
1/2 Bag of Shredded Cabbage
1/2 c. Thinly Sliced Radishes
1/4 c. Light Sour Cream
2 tbsp Honey
1/2 Lime Juiced & Zested
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Mix sour cream, honey, lime & apple cider vinegar. Fold in cabbage & radishes. Slaw should be lightly dressed. Mix in salt & pepper to taste.