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.
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!