Easy Slow-Cooker Shredded Pork Tacos

I saw an awesome sign that said “All you need is love and tacos” and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I must say: I think I agree!

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Tacos are the perfect go-to for a delicious weeknight meal: they’re easy to prepare (especially with this make-ahead slow-cooker recipe), tasty, and totally versatile. I make tacos with beef, turkey, and chicken—but one of my favoriteways to prepare the sacred dish is with pork. Pork tacos are especiallyjuicy, tender,  and flavorful. 

Before you start this recipe, here’s a quick tip on buying the right cut of pork for your tacos!

Sometimes people get confused when buying pork because some cuts are labeled “pork shoulder butt” (or even “pork butt”) and others are labeled “pork shoulder”. People often think they’re the same thing, but they’re notexactly the same: Pork shoulder and pork shoulder butt are from the same region (the shoulder region) of the pig, but the pork shoulder is slightly thinner and is better for slicing, whereas pork shoulder butt is thicker, typically from the endof the shoulder, and is the best cut of meat for pulled or shredded pork (like this recipe). SO when you’re out shopping, look for pork shoulder butt.

Look for a pork shoulder butt cut that is pinkish-red in color with some marbling (white fat) throughout for the best flavor. Finally, when you buy pork, it’s best to prepare it within three days of when you buy it. Pork will store longer in the fridge, but it’s best to freeze it if you don’t intend on using it right away to maximize flavor and freshness.

 

Okay… now that we got the nitty-gritty out of the way: let’s get started on this ultra-easy recipe!

This recipe will serve 4-6 people easily. If you have leftovers for a smaller crowd, consider using them in nachos or another recipe within three days of preparing the meat!

Hungry yet?!

Hungry yet?!

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For the seasoning:

  • One 4-5 lb. pork shoulder butt. (Bone in or out is totally fine)

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 16 oz. jar of mild salsa

  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil

 

Optional Toppings:

  • 1 can of whole-kernel corn, drained 

  • 1 can of black beans or pinto beans, drained

  • Chopped tomatoes 

  • 1 avocado (or more, because avocadoes are life!)

  • Brown rice

  • Kale or spinach, chopped

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • Tortillas of choice

  • Lime

  • Cheese 

 

The Method:

  1. Combine all of the spices along with mixed garlic in a small bowl. Remove the pork from plastic. On a cutting board or dry sterile surface, pat the pork wit the mixture of seasonings and place in the bottom of a slow-cooker.

  2. Pour salsa over the pork, then turn the heat to ‘high’ and cook about 6 hours, until the meat is tender. (If you don’t have a slow-cooker or want the meat finished sooner,cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350 degrees; then uncover and cook 30 more minutes.) Use two large forks to shred the pork. If you used a bone-in pork, remove the pork from the bone (it should be so tender that it will fall off of the bone easily). I like to shred the pork in the slow-cooker so it can continue to marinate.

  3. Assemble the other taco toppings. Heat the tortillas stovetop or in the microwave. And then—the magical step—assemble and eat your tacos! My favorite pork tacos look like this: a heated Siete brand GF tortilla, prepared pork, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, ALL the hot sauce, and a sprinkle of lime.