This recipe is perfect for those early back-to-school days when you’re back to the hustle and bustle of fall, but it’s still hot and you don’t want to heat up your kitchen. Pork shoulder is tossed in a mix of rich spices and then cooked gently in a slow-cooker, which means no oven or stove-top required. By using cola as the braising liquid, the soda both tenderizes the meat and flavors it with its natural sugars. You only need 1½ cups for this recipe, so seek out Mexican cola if you can find it. We’re using the pulled pork in tacos here, but you could also toss it with BBQ sauce and pile on toasted buns or use it as a filling for enchiladas.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and cinnamon. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Set the pork in the slow cooker. Add the cola and garlic. Cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Use tongs to transfer the meat and tender garlic cloves to a bowl. Shred with a fork and toss the meat with some of the braising juices.
Meanwhile, prepare the tacos
Once the meat goes in the slow cooker, pickle the red onions. In a medium bowl, toss the sliced onion with the lime juice, sugar and salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.
Serve the shredded pork in warm corn tortillas, letting guests top their own tacos with the pickled red onions, radishes, avocado, cilantro, cotija, salsa and hot sauce.
MAKE AHEAD The shredded pork can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.