The National Pork Board asked me to write a mashup recipe, taking different food ideas and mashing them together. Pulled pork shoulder is my favorite way to serve pork. I particularly enjoy pulled pork Southern barbecue style, tossed with a sweet, sticky sauce, served on smushy white bread, and topped with cole slaw and dill pickles. My second favorite way to serve pork? Shredded pork tacos. That’s it! That’s my mashup.
I’m giving that barbecue sandwich a Mexican-American twist. Instead of white bread, I use corn tortillas. Then I top the sweet, saucy pork with a tart, lime based slaw and spicy pickled jalapeños. I’m keeping the sweet barbecue sauce – it stands in for tomatoey salsa. It’s South of the Mason-Dixon line meets South of the border. 2
According to the National Pork Board’s survey, I chose well. Smoked, hot, and spicy flavors are frequently mentioned in their survey: 26% of people prefer hot flavors for their pork, 18% preferred spicy flavors for pork. Pulled Pork made up 15% of all pork mentions, and 7% enjoyed their pork in Mexican-styled dishes.
I love my pressure cooker for pulled pork; In an hour, I get tender, shredded pork shoulder that normally takes all day. (No pressure cooker? No worries…if you can cook all day. A slow cooker set on low for 8 hours gives the same tender, shreddable results.)
I’m biased, but I think I have a serious contender for America’s second most mouth-watering mashup.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos
- Pressure Cooker (I use a 6 quart Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
Pressure Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos – a mashup of shredded BBQ pork and Tex-Mex tacos.
Pulled Pork with BBQ sauce
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch thick strips (aka “western ribs”)
- 2 tablespoons barbecue rub (Your favorite store bought brand or make your own)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup barbecue sauce (Your favorite store bought brand or make your own)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or pressed through a garlic press)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 8 ounces cabbage, sliced thin (1 small head of cabbage)
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- Corn Tortillas
- Extra barbecue sauce
- Pickled jalapeños
- Cook the pork shoulder (in a pressure cooker): Sprinkle the pork evenly with the barbecue rub, then put it in the pressure cooker pot. Pour the water and barbecue sauce over the pork. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it up to high pressure, and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes in a stove top PC, or 1 hour in an electric PC. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes.
- Make the Baja slaw: In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic until the salt dissolves. Add the mayonnaise and whisk into a smooth dressing. Toss the cabbage, green onion, and cilantro in the bowl until well coated.
- Pull the pork: Scoop the pork out of the cooker with a slotted spoon – it’s OK if it breaks into pieces. Shred the pork with your hands, or a pair of forks, discarding any big hunks of fat or gristle that you find. Ladle some of the cooking liquid over the pork, just enough to make the pork look wet and saucy.
- Build the tacos: Warm up the tortillas, then let everyone build their own tacos. Pile some pulled pork on a tortilla and pour on a little barbecue sauce. Top with a scoop of slaw and a few pickled jalapeños. Fold in half and enjoy! (Go easy on the fillings – I’m setting a bad example with my pictures. Eating an overstuffed taco is a mess. Make a few smaller tacos instead of one big one.)
- Don’t feel like slaw and pickled jalapeños on your tortillas? Go with your favorite taco toppings – lettuce, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced olives, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, whatever you enjoy.
- No pressure cooker AND no slow cooker? No worries. Put the pork in a dutch oven with a heavy lid, increase the water to 2 cups, and bring to a simmer on the stove top. Cover with the lid, move to a 350°F oven, and bake for 4 hours, or until the pork is falling apart tender.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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