Pulled Pork Tacos
Serves 8For the pulled pork: 2 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 (3 1/2 - 4-pound) bone-in pork butt, fat still intact 1/2 cup lager-style beer 1/2 cup cider vinegar 1 tablespoon liquid smoke Favorite barbecue sauce, to taste For the tacos: Flour or corn tortillas Pickled onions Limes Cotija cheese, or other crumbly Mexican cheese Cilantro, for garnish For the pulled pork, preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk together the paprika, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne. Massage the spice rub into the pork butt, coating on all sides. Allow to rest for thirty minutes or as long as overnight. In a large Dutch oven, whisk the beer, cider vinegar, and liquid smoke until combined. Nestle the rubbed pork into the Dutch oven and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours, basting occasionally, until the pork easily falls apart. Remove the pork to a large cutting board. Allow to cool a few minutes, then shred using two forks (or my favorite, "bear paws"). Place the shredded meat back into the cooking liquid and cool completely. (This step can be made up to two days in advance; just cover and refrigerate until ready to move forward.) Turn the oven on broil. Push the pork through a fine mesh sieve to remove excess sauce (do not discard the cooking liquid.) Arrange the pork on two sheet pans and broil, working in batches, until it is crisp and some of the ends are blackened, about 6 - 10 minutes each. Toss the pork with your favorite barbecue sauce, a few tablespoons at a time, to your taste. Add a few tablespoons of cooking liquid to moisten, if desired. (I always save some liquid to add to the meat when reheating.) For the tacos, arrange pulled pork on tortillas. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, pickled onions (or coleslaw), lime slices, and cotija cheese. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.
Related: Recipe: Southern-style Buttermilk Coleslaw (Images: Nealey Dozier)