Vegetarians, avert your eyes. This post is about tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth meaty goodness. I knew I had to share the recipe when the first words out of my son’s mouth after one bite were, “Please tell me you made enough for leftovers!”. It is incredibly easy – heat and time do all of the hard work in either a slow cooker or a cast iron dutch oven (I used my dutch oven).
Slow Cooked Pork Tacos (adapted from a Food Network Magazine recipe)
- 3 whole ancho chiles (anchos are dried poblanos and have a smoky sweet flavor)
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 chipotles in adobo (freeze the leftover chiles in a ziploc for later use)
- 1 cup (1 small or 1/2 med) rough chopped white onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 pounds boneless, untrimmed pork shoulder, cut into chunks (ask your butcher to do this)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- kosher salt
- corn tortillas, your favorite taco trimmings
- If using a cast iron dutch oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the ancho chiles and the unpeeled garlic cloves in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or until soft.
- Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and the skins from the garlic and place in a blender.
- Add chipotles, chopped onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt and oregano to the blender. Puree until smooth.
- Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet if using a slow cooker, or directly to your dutch oven . Heat oil over medium-high heat and add the pureed chile sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened – about 8 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and cook until slightly reduced – about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. If using a slow cooker: add pork, cinnamon stick and bay leaves to slow cooker then pour in the sauce, cover, and cook on high for 5 hours or until tender. If using dutch oven: add cinnamon stick, bay leaves and pork to the sauce in the dutch oven, stir, and cook covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes and uncovered for 30 more minutes.
- Remove cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and any remaining fat from pork (this will be obvious and will come off easily with a spoon). Skim fat from top.
- Shred pork with two forks, stir to coat with sauce, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Warm corn tortillas in microwave covered with a damp paper towel for several seconds and serve with pork and toppings.
All photos via me