Pulled Pork Tacos con Ale
Pork and beans might be a traditional summer BBQ side, but pulled pork tacos are a year round favorite. Add some beer and spices along with the piggy and slow cook it all together for some “Good Eats.”
Uh oh, Alton Brown may have already trademarked that expression. Make that some “Fine Eats” or “Pork Treats” or…
Serves 6 to 12 – more or less
Halve recipe for fewer servings or use any leftover pork for pork sandwiches or in baked beans, etc. It may also be frozen and used later.
Pulled Pork Taco Recipe:
What you need:
- 5-qt. Slow Cooker to cook it in
- 4 to 5 pounds Boston Butt or pork shoulder – trim extra fat
- 2 bottles amber ale – Fat Tire is a good choice for this, as its biscuit malt flavor gives a good balance to the spices. (Or use a low bittered amber ale with IBU’s of about 18)
- 1 Cup white onion, diced
- 2 Tablespoons Sea or Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika (Hot Hungarian Paprika is good for more spice)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Serrano pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
- Ground black pepper – a couple of dashes
Additional Garnishes to Assemble Pulled Pork Tacos:
- Salsa of your choice
- Avocados (Optional) One will dress about 4 to 8 Tacos
- Queso Fresco, Monterey Jack or Monterey Pepper Jack
- 6″ Soft corn Tortillas or hard shells
What you do:
- Combine in a 5-quart slow cooker, Ale through Serrano pepper.
- Cut pork in half or thirds and add to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 6 hours.
- Transfer pork from the slow cooker to a large bowl.
- Skim fat from the top of the slow cooker juices (or use a fat separator).
- Heat juices (after fat has been removed) in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by about half.
- While reducing the liquid, shred pork with two forks or your fingers.
- Discard any pieces of fat or other undesirables.|
- Pour reduced slow cooker juices over the shredded pork, combine and reheat.
- Season to taste with Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Assemble taco in 6” soft corn tortillas or hard taco shells with: salsa, pork (drain if needed), avocado slices (optional) and either shredded Monterey Jack, Monterey Pepper Jack or crumbled Queso Fresco cheese.
- Heat before serving in a microwave or a medium heat oven until cheese is warm.
- Lime juice may be also be squeezed or squirted on the Taco.
Experiment with making the tacos and find the combo of ingredients that you like.
Enjoy with a great ale. Fat Tire – though not one of my fave craft beers – pairs very well with this, as its biscuit malt flavor gives it a great “taste foil” to the spicy pork. Think “BBQ sandwich flavor” and you’ve got it.
The Fat Tire Amber Ale even went well with the apple pie dessert. Recipe not included, as a friend surprised us with that after-dinner delight.
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