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Mexican Pulled Pork

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Adjust Servings:
2.2kg Pork Shoulder Boneless
The Pork Rub
1 Tspn Rock salt
1 Tspn Cumin Seeds
1 Tspn Oregano
1 Tspn Cinnamon
1 Tspn Cayenne Pepper
1 Tspn Paprika
The Cooking Liquid
400ml Apple Juice
400ml Rich and Smoky Stock
1 Roughly Chopped Onion
To Serve
BBQ Sauce
Homemade Guacamole
Optional Hot Sauce
2-3 per person Small Soft Shell Tacos

Mexican Pulled Pork


    Slowcooked Pulled Pork with Mexican Flavours which is perfect for Tacos served with Fresh Guacamole

    • Serves 8
    • Hard


    • The Pork Rub

    • The Cooking Liquid

    • To Serve



    Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

    Pulled pork is a way of slow cooking tougher cuts of pork (usually shoulder) to make them juicy and tender. You can do this in the oven, slowcooker or even smoked on the BBQ. For this recipe, we’re cooking our pork in a Dutch Oven.

    The Pork

    For this Mexican-inspired dish, I’m using about 2.2kg of pork shoulder (this cut is commonly called ‘pork butt’ in American recipes, I don’t know why) and it’ll serve 8 hungry people comfortably. Using a sharp knife trim off the skin and as much fat as you can. A bit of time spent here will make your pulled pork even more delicious later. If you are smoking your pork, you can afford to leave a little of the fat on as it will render out.

    The Rub

    There are countless companies and individuals out there making delicious rubs for everything from pulled pork to brisket and salmon to chicken wings. They are very easy to make yourself! Our pulled pork will ultimately end up in Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos so I’m using typical Mexican flavours for this rub.

    • 1 Tspn Cumin Seeds
    • 1 Tspn Oregano
    • 1 Tspn Cinnamon
    • 1 Tspn Cayenne Pepper
    • 1 Tspn Paprika
    • 1 Tspn Salt

    Mix the rub together in a bowl and then rub into pork shoulder, getting into all the cracks. Wrap the pork and leave in the fridge for at least four hours but preferably around 12 hours. The longer the better.

    The Cooking Liquid

    I used a mix of smoky stock, apple juice and chopped onions for my cooking liquid

    You can pretty much use whatever flavours you want (broth, beer, water) but I’m going to use this as an opportunity to pull the whole Pulled Pork Taco meal together. I’m serving this with a smoky BBQ sauce which is made with a little apple juice and apple cider vinegar so I’m using apple juice in my cooking liquid. Then to link in with my Mexican flavours I’m using a Rich and Smoky Stock Pots, which you can get in Tesco. Add just enough liquid to partially submerge the pork. In my Dutch Oven, I used 800ml of cooking liquid. For extra flavour, I’ve added a roughly chopped onion.

    The Cook

    If you can, seal the pork by frying it in a little oil before you slow cook it. Then add the pork, the chopped onions and the cooking liquid to your oven. Cover with the lid and cook for around 3 hours. I used an average of around 13 coals on top and 6 or so on the bottom, hoping to maintain an average temperature of around 160-170°C inside. Although I say 3 hours, check it after 2.5 hours and then every half an hour. The pulled pork is ready when you can easily pull it apart with a fork.

    The Serve

    Remove the pork from the cooking liquid, keep a small cup of the liquid and discard the rest. Don’t feel bad for it though, it’s done its work and served its purpose! Shred the pulled pork and mix in with a little of the juice and BBQ sauce. If you want you can chop the onions through the sauce to deepen the flavour.

    We served our pulled pork with a delicious and healthy home-made guacamole and a (less healthy) BBQ sauce on Tacos. It was the perfect way to end 2017 as we cooked up a fiesta on a stormy New Year’s Eve. What a way to stave off those winter blues!


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    First prepare your fire area for a long, slow cook. I like to have two piles of coal going. One for the oven and another for getting the coals up to heat. Add the oven and get the base hot enough to fry the pork.


    Take your pork shoulder, which has been trimmed and rubbed, and sear the outside. This will give it some textural contrast when you serve it in a few hours. Work in batches without crowding the oven.


    With the outside crispy, nestle the chopped onion around the pork and carefully pour in the cooking liquids. It shouldn't be submerged. Bits that stick out will be deliciously crispy and a nice contrast from the soft juicy pork. Put the lid on and add the coals to the top. You'll know your own oven but you want to maintain a low temperature of around 160-170°C, for me that's around 12-13 coals on top and 4-6 underneath.


    Cook for 2.5 hours and then begin to check every half hour. It's ready when it comes apart easily.


    Shred the pulled pork when it's cooled with your fingers or two forks and chop through those slow cooked onions if you like. Add two tablespoons of your BBQ sauce (check out my recipe if you haven't already) and then add some of that cooking liquid until the pork is as wet or as dry as you like.


    Serve this delicious Mexican Pulled Pork with little tacos, a dollop of guacamole and let people do their own thing with the BBQ sauce and the hot sauce!

    Mark T

    Awesome BBQ Sauce
    Homemade Fresh Guacamole
    Awesome BBQ Sauce
    Homemade Fresh Guacamole

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