Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos
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 stovetop 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.
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder excess fat removed and meat cut into 3-inch chunks (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
- 1½ cups cola (about one 16-ounce can), preferably Mexican cola if you can find it
- 5 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh lime juice plus wedges for serving
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Warm small corn tortillas
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Chopped avocado
- Small sprigs of fresh cilantro
- Crumbled cotija cheese
- Store-bought salsa and hot sauce, for serving
Make the pork
- 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!