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Carnitas Street Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

January 15, 2018

Carnitas Street Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Here's an terrific way to pack a lot of flavor into some pork shoulder for quick and easy street tacos. I've included some options to mix it up so this can be a regular addition to your weekly home menu while still mixing it up and keeping the flavors fresh and new. 


For the Pork:

2-3 lbs. pork shoulder
2 1/2 cups braising liquid (chicken broth, or perhaps half broth, half orange or pineapple juice, or half IPA craft beer, or dilute (half strength) dark roast coffee). 
2 T Hill Country Provisions & Iron Salt (I used Sal de Manzanillo. Consider: PEAK, Sal de Pastor, Vaquero Sol, Texas IPA Chili Salt, Coffee Porter Salt). 
1/2 medium red onion. 
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cooking oil for browning

For the Pickled Red Onions:

1/2 medium red onion
2 limes
1 tsp salt

For the tacos:
1 package of your favorite tortillas
1 bunch cilantro
Cotija cheese
Lime zest

Technique: Cut the pork into 2-3 inch cubes and season with the Hill Country Provisions & Iron salt you selected. Ideally this can be done 6-24 hours prior to cooking, but it's okay to do so right before cooking if needed. Heat some cooking oil in a skillet and brown the meat on all sides. If you're using an Instant Pot this can be done on the saute' setting in the pot itself. Once the meat is browned combine all ingredients (not the pickled red onions) in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. For slow cookers: Set to high for 30 minutes, and then dial the heat to low for 6 hours. For Instant Pots: After browning the meat on the saute' setting, hit cancel and then go to manual mode and set for 30 minutes. Allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. 

Once the cooking process is complete, shred it in the pot and cooking liquid with a fork and tongs. If you prefer a crisp texture, transfer the meat with a slotted spoon to a foil lined baking sheet and heat under the broiler for a few minutes (watch it closely so it doesn't burn. Take it out and stir/flip, repeat once. Place the meat in a serving container and spoon cooking liquid over the meat to your preference.

For the pickled red onions: Once the pork shoulder is cooking put a small pot of water (12-16 oz will do) on to boil. Meanwhile slice the onion into thin strips and set aside in a 1 qt bowl or pot. Zest the limes, and then juice them. Set the zest aside and once the water is boiling pour it into the bowl with the sliced onion. Stir gently for 10 seconds and strain the water off or pour into a colander. Return the onions to the bowl, add the lime juice and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. 

For the TACOS: Warm the tortillas over a gas burner or in a skillet for best texture and flavor. Add the shredded pork to the center and garnish with the picked red onions, cilantro, cotija cheese, and lime zest. Season with Sal de Manzanillo, or whichever Hill Country Provisions & Iron Salt you used to season the pork. Final step: share... if you can. :) 


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