Pulled Pork Tacos

Pork, beer, and onions…did I get your attention. A pork shoulder is braised with beer and onions in a slow cooker, then shredded to make Pulled Pork Tacos. You will have plenty of meat to make tacos to feed your family but also enough fork tender pork left to use in several other dishes that I will be sharing with you in future posts.

Beer Braised Pulled Pork Tacos
Beer Braised Pulled Pork Tacos

I think everyone enjoys a taco night at home once in a while. If you are one of the few people who don’t like tacos but enjoy Mexican food, you can use the pulled pork recipe as an ingredient in other dishes such as enchiladas, burritos or nachos.

The beer braised pork shoulder used in the tacos is super simple to make. The meat only requires seasoning, searing, and then it is put into a slow cooker on a bed of sliced onions. A bottle of your favorite beer is poured around it.  The pork is left to simmer low and slow in the slow cooker until can be pulled apart with a fork. After the pork is shredded, the portion you wish to use for tacos is heated with some of the braising liquid and tomatillo salsa. Place the rest of the meat in airtight containers and refrigerate or freeze for future use. The broth can be strained, fat skimmed when cool and frozen for future use.

The wonderful thing about using a slow cooker is that you can start it in the morning, walk away and it basically cooks itself. If you don’t have a slow cooker, the pork can be simmered slowly on the stove top but will need some watching. If you like crispy brown bits, the oven is another alternative for preparing the pork and you can use my recipe for Cuban pork.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Beer Braised Pork

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder also known as pork butt or Boston butt, fat trimmed if necessary (approx. 4 lb.)
  • a spice rub made with 1/2 tsp. each of cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and dark brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. cayenne (the spices and quantities can be adjusted to suit your taste)
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bottle beer (I used Dos Equis Amber)
  • 1/2 c. – 1 c. roasted tomatillo salsa, see recipe below or use store bought salsa (Santa Clara or Frontera are good brands that I have used)

Place sliced onions and garlic in the bottom of a slow cooker. Massage the spice rub into the pork. Heat oil in a sauté pan and sear the pork on all sides.  Place pork on the bed of onions in the slow cooker. Deglaze the pan with the beer then pour around the pork, cover and start the slow cooker. It will probably take 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low, depending on your slow cooker and the size of the pork, be tender enough to pull apart with a fork.

Remove the pork to a platter and let cool enough to handle. While cooling, stain the cooking liquid, discarding the onions and garlic. When cool, skim the fat and save the broth. Once the pork has cooled, pull apart with a fork, discarding any fat.

Heat the shredded pork with the salsa and enough broth to moisten.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

  • 4 tomatillos, papery skin removed, and halved
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 2 serrano chilies, halved and seeded
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • a handful of cilantro, thick stems removed
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Place tomatillos, onions, chilies and garlic cloves on a foil lined baking sheet and place 4 inches under the broiler and cook until softened and starting to get a few black spots, about 5 minutes, stir and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.  When cooked, place in a food processor with the water and oil, blend until a salsa consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Warm Tortillas and Condiments of your choice such as shredded cabbage, chopped onions, sliced radishes, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, crumbled quesco fresco, cilantro, Mexican crema, and sour cream.

Assemble tacos and serve.

****

The beer braised pork is succulent, delicious and melts in your mouth. Piled high on a warm corn tortilla and topped with your favorite condiments, you have a total meal in one little package that you can enjoy with your family and friends.  If you would like to serve an alternative to meat, you can find my recipe for fish tacos here. All you need are some cold beers or  margaritas and you have the makings of a party. Delicioso!

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198 thoughts on “Pulled Pork Tacos

  1. These pulled pork tacos even get my attention at 7.30am… I’m on east coast time for the week:) Looks delicious and I like the full mix of fresh veggies including the radish. And I love pulled pork- this looks like a good one. Have a good Monday Karen.

    1. Hi Wendy, I’m happy that the pork tacos got your attention. 🙂 I know that some people might like their tacos with just meat and cheese but I like the crunch that the vegetables give to the otherwise soft taco. Have a good week on the east coast…hope you aren’t in the snow.

    1. Hi David, I have used lots of different liquids for braising and beer works well for many dishes. I think you will like my upcoming post. 🙂

    1. Thank you Norma, for your kind words. I really appreciate your nice compliment. I do try to create simple recipes that I think anyone will be able to prepare. This is a great recipe for extras to freeze. I had three containers of meat and three cups of both to use for other dishes.

    1. Thank you Judy, I’m happy to know you like the recipe. Pulled pork is such a “melt in your mouth” delicious dish and very versatile.

    1. Hi Madonna, If you like pulled pork, it is terrific in Mexican dishes. Don’t be intimidated by tacos, they are super simple. Thank you for the pin, I appreciate that. I believe you are going to enjoy my upcoming post.

  2. I LOVE tacos of most every variety. Because John’s dad doesn’t like anything spicy, we haven’t had tacos for a long time. I might see if he’d mind if I made him something different while we enjoy these wonderful tacos.

    1. Hi Maureen, If you eliminate the cayenne from the spice rub then pork isn’t spicy at all. You could take out a portion for John’s dad before you simmer the shredded pork with the salsa. That should make everyone happy.

    1. Thank you John, I’m glad you like the looks of the tacos. Actually if you can’t find queso fresco cheese, feta is a good substitute. Of course, cheddar or Monterey jack would be good as well.

  3. Looks and sounds delicious! My BBQ-owning friends tried pulled pork for the first time last year and have now become addicted 🙂 I just searched the net the other day and found oven versions as I don’t have a BBQ, so it’s a nice coincidence you’re posting a recipe on it. I’ll try yours in the oven and see how it turns out.

    1. Hi Kiki, I’m happy you like the recipe, thank you for your nice compliment. I believe you will really enjoy the version that I prepare in the oven, it is one of my husband’s favorite dishes.

      1. I’ll give you feedback once I’ve tried it. I’ve investigated slow cookers over here, but it seems we are not slow cooker people over here, and you can only get them online…

      2. I’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness in letting me know how you liked it. Don’t worry if you can’t find buy a slow cooker, they are nice but you can make a great pork in the oven. 🙂

    1. Hi Jeannee, What do they say about great minds thinking alike. 🙂 The roasted tomatillo salsa is very easy to prepare and adds lots of flavor to many Mexican dishes. Of course, you can make it as hot as you want by increasing the chilies.

  4. Oh, they look gorgeous Karen! I love pulled pork tacos. Actually, I love pulled pork anything! 🙂 Gotta get me a slow-cooker. Although I seem to manage without.

    1. Thank you Lidia, for your nice compliment. I’m with you about loving pulled pork. It is such a versatile dish as you will see in upcoming posts. I don’t use my slow cooker often but it is perfect when you need to be out of the house all day. As they say, set it and forget it. I make my Cuban version of the pork in the oven which my husband loves because of all the crispy bits.

  5. Beautiful tacos, Karen! I am going to need to borrow a slow cooked and try this soon. Got everything except the machine! (I suppose I could do them in the oven…) Your salsa looks amazing, too!

    1. Hi David, I appreciate your nice compliment…I’m glad you like the recipe. You really don’t need a slow cooker for make the pulled pork. Check out the link for my recipe for Cuban pork, it is done in the oven and that will give you an idea of how long to cook it.

  6. These tacos look delicious. How can you not love this combination of ingredients? This recipe is now going to be like one of those songs that get stuck in your head, I won’t be satisfied until I make it and have lots of leftovers.

    1. Thank you Karen, for your nice compliment. I know what you mean…you have made several dishes that talked to me the minute I saw them. This recipe is a great one as there is plenty of meat for leftovers. I think I might tempt you again with my next post on what I used the meat for.

    1. Hi Angie, The tacos are as good as they look. Thank you for your nice compliment. I hadn’t had pulled pork in a long time when I saw the pork shoulder in the market and knew what I wanted to make.

  7. Yum Yum Yum!!! I’m reading this at 10:00 in the morning…and my tummy is growling. We’ve been doing a lot of slow cooker meals this cold snowy winter. They are easy and adaptable to most anything you want to include in the meal. A big plus is the aroma…Mmmmmmmm

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, David. I’m glad you like the tacos…just sorry to have made you hungry before lunchtime. Slow cooker meals are great, I need to use mine more often. It is nice to use in the summer too when you don’t want to heat of your kitchen.

      1. I just now finished putting together tonights dinner. One third or so of a whole pork loin (about 3-4 lbs.) onions, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, vegetable stock and a bottle ofDundee’s Honey Brown bottle of beer. It should be ready around 5:30 tonight. Perfect comfort food for a snowy-icy-rainy day. The house is beginning to smell pretty darn good!

  8. What did we do without slow cookers that seem to make everything turn out perfect! I’m glad you let your Texas roots show from time to time even thought pulled pork tacos may not officially be TexMex.

    1. Hi Lulu, Yes…my Texas roots does show up on some of my cooking. Pulled pork tacos my not be TexMex but they sure are good. BTW, the best Mexican restaurant I’ve been to in a long time was in Bellaire, Texas.

  9. What a coincidence, I made slow cooker pulled pork yesterday too, except I always use pork tenderloin for a slightly healthier take. Yesterday I improvised a molé flavoured BBQ sauce which worked out incredibly well. The irony was that neither of us had any desire to eat last night after indulging in a rather rich brunch! I’ll save some for dinner this week and put the rest in the freezer as you suggested. I will definitely try it in a soft tortilla like you did, looks delicious with the condiments and cilantro, and the molé favoured sauce fits right into it. I also made pretzel buns but the soft tortilla sounds healthier. Thanks again Karen, next time I’ll try slow cooking my pulled pork with Guinness!

    1. Hi Eva, I think when we have cold weather, we crave very flavorful food. You should really try a boneless pork shoulder…just look for a very lean one. The fat melts away and contributes a delicious gelatinous broth. When cool enough to handle, you discard the fat as you pull apart the meat. By refrigerating the broth, you can skim all the fat off. The end result is delicious, melt in your mouth pork without the fat. As much as I like pork tenderloin, it just doesn’t have the same flavor as shoulder meat.

    1. Hi Prudy…how did you know that I created this dish just for you? I do hope you will enjoy the pulled pork and the tacos. Next week I’ll post another recipe just for you for what you can make with your leftover pulled pork. Thank you so much for your nice compliment…you gave me a real smile with your comment. 🙂

    1. Hi Celi, I’m glad that my pulled pork tacos got your attention. 🙂 Thank you for your nice compliment…I hope you will enjoy the recipe.

  10. Warm corn tortillas, homemade tomatilla salsa and slow cooked pulled pork . . . doesn’t get much better than that! Can’t wait to make some tacos now!!

    1. Hi Mary, I don’t use my slow cooker as much as I should but it is great when you need to be away from home for several hours. You can make the pulled pork in the oven…check out my Cuban pork recipe. I love the crunch that the radish and cabbage gives to the otherwise soft tacos. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  11. Good stuff! I make a Mexican style pork like this in the oven sometimes (I find that easier than the top of the stove), but really should try it in the crock pot sometime. I haven’t made homemade tacos in ages! Really need to again. Super stuff — thanks.

    1. Thank you John, for your nice compliment. I agree with you that pork cooked in the oven is delicious and I make it that way often. I wanted to give readers another option with this recipe. You can prep the onions and season the pork the night before, put it in a slow cooker in the morning and head off to work. When we get home, there is tender pork waiting for you.

  12. I love anything that involves the slow cooker, Karen, and I’m already thinking of when I’ll use your recipe. Our weekends are generally filled with day-long sporting events and there’s nothing better than coming home to dinner that’s practically ready to come to the table. I’ll add this one to my repertoire when baseball season kicks off later this month! The roasted tomatillo salsa sounds wonderful!

    1. Hi Allison, The slow cooker can definitely be your friend when life gets hectic. This would be the perfect dish for one of your sports filled weekends. I hope you will enjoy the dish and I appreciate your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Boleyn, You are right, when you make pulled pork you have so much that you can create several dishes. I think you would enjoy the green tomatilla salsa added to the pulled pork, it lends a lot of flavor. Your red version sounds good. 🙂

    1. Hi Ray, I’m happy that my post got your attention. When I post, I work from my laptop and my husband just showed me what my tacos looked like on his desk top. If I do say so myself, it is a good as it looks. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish. I hope you have a great week as well. 🙂

  13. As a matter of fact I have some left over pulled pork from last week & I was wondering what else I could make with it. I just made it with a barbeque sauce but I like your idea of using beer. Just made a note of that one Karen.

    1. Hi Diane, The next time you feel like making pulled pork please do try using beer. I believe that you would also like my Cuban version. I make it in the oven but it can also be made in the slow cooker.

    1. Hi Lizzy, I do hope you get a chance to make pulled pork. I’ll be sharing several more recipes for what you can do with the pork. You might also enjoy my Cuban version that I linked to, it is delicious.

    1. Hi Christin, I’m glad that I got your attention and that you like tacos. I believe you would enjoy these…they are as good as they look. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Sam, I do enjoy making fish tacos but when there is snow on the ground, I like something a little heartier. The pulled pork with the tomatillo salsa was perfect for a more substantial taco. Thank you for your nice comment.

  14. This looks so yummy. I have been meaning to buy a slow-cooker for the longest time. I must go out and get one. I love the look of this recipe and I will pin it for when I do go and make that purchase xx

    1. Thank you Charlie, I’m glad you like the recipe. A slow cooker is perfect when your life is hectic…which yours seems to be. You put everything it the cooker, start it and walk away. You can be gone all day and when you get home you have a delicious dish waiting for you. Thank you for your nice compliment and pin…it is very much appreciated.

  15. I LOVE my Crock! I certainly would love this dish too, Karen. Beer and Pork “play” so well together. Now, I’m sorry I took out a roaster for dinner tomorrow! The week isn’t up yet though:)

    Thanks for sharing, Karen…That Salsa is nothing to sneeze at either, lol…

    1. Hi Louise, A crock pot can be so handy when life is busy and you can’t spend all day in the kitchen. I’m happy you like the recipe…you are right, beer and pork do go very well together. 🙂

    1. Hi Renee, I’m glad you like the tacos. I think you will enjoy what I do with some of the pulled pork in the next recipe as well. Fish tacos are great…I make them with flounder when I see it in the market.

    1. Hi Sarah, The pulled pork is very moist from simmering in the tomatillo salsa. Adding all the condiments makes for a complete meal in a tasty package. Thank you for your nice compliment. 🙂

  16. Do you think there actually are people who don’t like tacos, Karen? LOL! I can hardly imagine. 🙂 My son was over yesterday for the Super Bowl game and mentioned hoping we’d have something just like this, I think he even mentioned pork, for a get-away we’re sharing in a couple of weeks. I’m going to send this recipe on to his fiancée and see if this isn’t the one we should prepare! We are carting our food “in” to the house we will be renting, and this sounds practical and popular. Here in Southern California everything eventually makes its way into a taco! I don’t think we’ve previously made one with the beer, however. He’ll like that! 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, you gave me a chuckle. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like tacos but you never know. I think this would be a great recipe to make for your getaway. You can buy a large shoulder that would feed a crowd. I hope you have a great time. 🙂

  17. Dear Karen, thanks for sharing yet another wonderful recipe – perfectly delicious and perfect for the season. With all those healthy add in to make it even more special (and, if I may say so, pretty, as well). I love the convenience of slow cooker dishes – I ordered one last year and have been enjoying cooking with it ever since.
    Take care and stay warm, my friend!

    1. Hi Andrea, I appreciate your lovely compliment. I do love the convenience that a slow cooker provides. It is perfect when you need to be out of the house for part of the day or can’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I hope you are feeling better as each day passes. Thank you for your nice wish. 🙂

  18. YUM! These are what we would call street tacos and these look delicious – you made them look so pretty with all the different colors. I could eat them right now for breakfast! 🙂

    1. Hi Kelly, I’m glad you like the looks of the tacos. I’m with you…I wouldn’t mind having one for breakfast. Maybe a pulled pork and fried egg taco. 🙂

    1. Hi Jessica, I agree with you on both counts…pulled pork in tacos is terrific. I hope you and your husband enjoy the tacos. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  19. Oh Yes! You have my attention! Tex Mex will never be the same once you try these creative and tender delicious tortillas with all of the fixings. Wishing you a super day. Take Care, BAM

    1. Hi Bobbie, I’m glad you like the tacos…they really are good. I can just imagine how many your two teenage boys could eat. I made two other recipes that I’ll be posting using the pork but I don’t know if you would have much meat left. 🙂

  20. Not surprised that 62 people like this post, who doesn’t like pulled pork – to be honest I buy a ready made one from Denmark … can’t be bothered doing one loin for me alone. Danish Tulip does a brilliant one, but next time will I serve it like this. Great idea .. instead in a bun and with red cabbage slaw – a bit tired of that now.

    1. Hi Viveka, I know what you mean…when you are cooking for one there are somethings that you are better off buying already prepared. I’m glad you like the serving idea.

      1. Yes, for me cooking for only one person – I have to eat pork for a week – and I couldn’t do that.
        To by some ready products is okay – I always put my own twist to it … yes, I really like to eat it a taco.
        So when they have in store again I will buy a pack.

    1. Hi Amanda, I’m glad you like the recipe for the pulled pork. I think the tomatillo salsa really added a nice flavor for the tacos. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  21. “Pork, beer, and onions…did I get your attention.” – absolutely. The beer braised pork sounds delicious and the salsa definitely takes it over the top. We enjoy making all sorts of dishes from pulled pork.

  22. Karen your recipes do not only look delicious but as well so beautiful and inviting.
    Wish I could reach for a bite through my notebook right now 🙂

  23. YUM….You got my attention….I am actually at work now but I do have a pork butt in my refrig right now.Wished I had seen this post before I left for work as it would be cooking now..Oh well, there is always tomorrow- right..

  24. Love these Karen. My eldest got me a tortilla press for Christmas. I will be featuring home made tortillas in a post very soon. They were great fun to make and next time out, I will try pulled pork, for sure.
    A top post, as usual.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Conor. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. I’ll be looking forward to see what you prepare with your homemade tortillas. 🙂

    1. Hi Boleyn, You ended up in my spam file for some unknown reason. I appreciate that you stopped by a second time to leave a comment, that was very kind of you. I’m glad you like the recipe. 🙂

    1. Thank you Paul, I appreciate your kind words. It does seem that everyone is enjoying this post. Don’t worry, I’ve gotten a little behind as well because of traveling.

  25. Yes you got my attention and yes, I can see why you’d be craving these fresh, summer type flavours in the middle of the snow storms though. Hopefully the food + beer is the perfect remedy too!

  26. It’s a shame I never had this when in Houston as I’ve never eaten pulled pork. Oddly, most of my pork recipes use the same cut but as steaks, as that’s how it’s sold over here. Because of that I’m sure to love this as much if not more!

    1. Hi Johnny, It is funny how cuts of meat are different wherever you live. I’ve never seen pork steaks cut from the shoulder where I am. I do think you would enjoy pork prepared this way.

  27. Talk about timing – I just bought a huge pork shoulder at the supermarket as it was on sale, and was just wondering how to cook it. This looks amazing, Karen ! And I love slow cookers – they seem to magically do all the work for you. Put ingredients in, and 8 hours later, the food comes out all meltingly soft and delicious.

    1. Hi Carolyn, It seems the timing of my post was indeed good since you just bought a pork shoulder. I agree with you about how a slow cooker seems to magically transform meat into a delicious meal without much work on our part. I appreciate your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Lesley, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. Since you love tacos, I believe you would enjoy these made with the pulled pork and tomatillo salsa. 🙂

      1. Our tomatillo plants come back every year like weeds, so roasting them on the grill is a favorite! Usually I pair them with steak tacos, since it’s all such a quick process, but I’ll have to slow down and pair them with pork now…thank you! 🙂

      2. It is so nice to have a garden that provides you with fresh tomatillos, my markets here in New England don’t carry them all the time.

  28. Not sure how I initially missed this post, but I am DEFINITELY going to make these the next time we get a hankering for Mexican in this house. They look, well, attention getting to say the least!

    1. Hi Betsy, I’m happy that you discovered the post. I hope you will enjoy the recipe the next time you have a craving for Mexican food. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  29. Fabulous recipe, Karen! You certainly got my attention with that first sentence. 🙂 I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food. The slow cooker method to prepare shredded beef, chicken or pork for homemade Tex-Mex meals makes food prep so much easier. We do the same and enjoy making quesadillas and flautas. I think my husband married me because I could make our favorite Mexican food at home! 😉 Cannot wait to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you Stacy, for your lovely compliment. Your comment about your husband gave me a real laugh. I hope the two of you will enjoy the recipe.

  30. Yes, you got my attention! I am so happy you posted this recipe, Karen. I tried to do something similar with the slow cooker a few months ago and it came out a disaster (boooo!). Do you think the pork will be ok in the slow cooker for 10 hours? That’s my usual workday with commute. It would be awesome to come home to something so succulent!

    1. Hi Ruth, I think your pork would be fine as long as you set it on low. My cooker switches over to warm after 10 hours…I think most of them do. I hope you have better luck, I’ve never had a problem with anything I have prepared in my slow cooker and I have a cheap model. 🙂

  31. I always keep on craving pulled pork whenever I see it and yours looks particularly tempting! I really must prepare it one day. Thank you for sharing this inspiring recipe. Beer sounds like a fantastic idea!

  32. This has given me a new craving for the week! I absolutely love pulled pork – and right now, anything in a slow cooker! This will be fabulous Karen!

    1. Hi Celia, I know you have made some terrific meals in your clay pot…sorry that your pork didn’t turn out tender. I was very happy with the results using the slow cooker.

  33. I finally got a chance to try out this recipe. The pork came out fantastic. I cheated and used bottled salsa instead of making my own, but the dish was outstanding even with that compromise. This is definitely going to be one of my go-to recipes for pulled pork.

    Now, what is going to be my next inspiration….

    1. Thank you Daisy, for your lovely compliment…I’m happy to know you like the tacos. A Crock Pot truly is a friend in the kitchen. I’m going to use mine again soon for lamb shanks.

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