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Chipotle Braised Pork Tacos

Yield: serves 8-10

Author Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Quick Red Onion Pickles:

  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 medium red onion , split in half, cut into strips

Chipotle Braised Pork:

  • 5 pounds pork butt , fat trimmed, cut into medium sized cubes (about 6-7 pounds with fat)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium red onions , diced into big chunks
  • 2 Tablespoon canola oil , or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 7 oz can chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes , discard juice
  • 1 head garlic (11 cloves), peeled
  • 1 cup light or amber beer

Other Components:

  • small bunch radishes , sliced thin
  • head green cabbage , sliced thin
  • cilantro , roughly chopped
  • grated cotija cheese
  • sour cream
  • lime wedges
  • corn tortillas , warmed

Instructions

Red Onion Pickles:

  1. In a small sauce pot, heat vinegar, salt, and sugar. Add sliced onions. Continue to heat over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves.

  2. Transfer onions and liquid to a pint mason jar. Add enough cold water until liquid reaches top of jar. Cover jar and let marinade in fridge while you braise pork.

Chipotle Braised Pork:

  1. Trim the fat from 6-7 pounds of pork butt, leaving you with about 5 pounds of trimmed meat. Cut into medium sized chunks. Add 1 Tbsp kosher salt and 1/2 Tbsp black pepper. Toss to season meat. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15-30 minutes as you prepare remaining ingredients.

  2. Heat a large oven safe pot (i.e. enameled cast iron/dutch oven pot). Add 2 Tbsp canola oil and diced red onions and cook over medium high heat. Add 1/4 tsp kosher salt to sweat the onions. Cook until onions start to soften.

  3. Add all the liquid juice of canned chipotle peppers to pot. Add half of peppers, or more depending on your spice level preference.

  4. Discard the juice from tomato can. Crush all the tomatoes and add to the pot. Add whole peeled garlic cloves and 1 cup beer. Stir to combine. Add pork and bring to a boil, keep pot uncovered. As noted in picture above, some of the pork will be exposed. Not all the pork will be submerged in liquid. This will allow the pork to brown in the oven.

  5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once mixture comes to boil, place pot in preheated oven. Bake for 3 hours. Rearrange and stir meat every hour to allow meat to brown.

  6. When pork is done cooking, remove pork from sauce and place in a separate bowl. Using an immersion blender (or a standard blender) puree sauce until smooth.

  7. Roughly shred pork and toss in smooth sauce. Serve pork on warmed corn tortilla with garnishes.