Ah the magic of turning a beautiful Boston Butt into pulled pork. Pulled pork is a form of that “real BBQ” we always hear about, in Mexico it is known as “Carnitas”, but around the old Pondee we just call it “the good stuff”.
Normally, the meat is smoked for 10-12 hours, wrapped in foil and allowed to rest for about 20 minutes, and when unwrapped – simply so tender it is literally ready to fall apart. I “try” to slice it up with my big old Green River butcher knife, but as sharp as that is, it simply falls apart on the cutting board. Then the meat is literally shredded using a pair of forks, (tossing any parts you don’t want to keep), and what you wind up with is a pile of Heaven.
I will eventually get around to doing an article on smoking shoulder pork, (yeah – I know, but its called Boston Butt – I make allowances for folks from that part of the country getting stuff bass-ackwards), also accomplishing near the same effect by slow-cooking them in a dutch oven, or in a big old crock pot. Trust me – the end result is still 5 to 8 pounds of shredded goodness that can be divided up into freezer bags and broken back out of the freezer for up to 3 months to enjoy again.
Most folks, especially from the South, immediately think “Pulled Pork Sandwich” and those are great – but my absolute favorite is the “Pulled Pork Taco”.
- Pre-cooked pulled pork
- Finely diced sweet white onion
- Shredded cheese
- Pre-prepared cole slaw
- Corn tortillas
Fire up one side of your grill.
Put about half an inch of cooking oil in a frying pan, and heat that on the grill – be doggone careful here, that oil is just as dangerous around a grill as it is on the kitchen stove, if not more so!
Using long handled tongs, heat/soften corn tortillas one at a time in the oil. (This only takes about 20-30 seconds per tortilla). Set them aside to drain and cool a bit, (I use paper towels).
Pour the oil out of the skillet, (I use a large tin can), and re-heat your pulled pork in it. If you like, you can introduce a little of your favorite BBQ sauce here just to moisten it up a bit. Move skillet to the cool side of the grill and start building the tacos.
By now you should be able to pre-fold the tortillas in half and line them up on a paper plate. Spoon in a healthy portion of meat in each shell, topped with finely diced onion and a little shredded cheese, (I love using a pre-shredded Mexican blend), then fill with cole slaw.
Serve with potato salad, macaroni salad, chips and salsa, or what have you. (I like to kick my tacos up a notch with some Tapatio hot sauce). 8)
Forgot to bring cole slaw makings? How about topping it with your typical chopped lettuce & tomato, but add in some fresh chopped cilantro for a flavor boost that is magic with pork tacos.
It may not be the same, but this all works just as well with shredded beef – and they disappear just as fast. 🙂
Admission without guilt:
The absolute best pulled pork tacos I have eaten – my Son-in-law provided the smoked pork, my Daughter shredded it, Heidi cooked off the tortillas and put them together – and all I did was EAT those rascals. Did that tonight and it was GOOD!