I’m going to tell you about TasteBuds. Please don’t laugh. After moving back to Pittsburgh, a group of friends and I decided we were going to start a dinner group. Our plan was to try all the restaurants in Pittsburgh and blog about them. And, yes, we called ourselves the Tastebuds. I asked you not to laugh.
So we never got around to the blog idea but we have tried LOTS of Pittsburgh restaurants. Another part of our “club” is taking turns cooking for each other. The first time I cooked for the group was over two years ago and I made quesadillas. If I remember correctly, those quesadillas were super boring. So I had to redeem myself with Mexican cuisine. Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa and Chipotle Cream Sauce. Nailed it.
I’ve made pulled pork probably 100 times and it’s been different every single time. Until this marinate. I might never use a different marinate again. Well that’s not true but this will definitely be my favorite for awhile.
There’s not one specific beer I recommend using. Don’t use a light beer though – you want something with stronger flavors. With this recipe I like to use an IPA or a hoppy ale. This time I used Third Coast Beer by Bell’s.
For me, the texture of the pork is incredibly important. I want the pork to be moist but not a soggy mess. You know what I mean- that pulled pork that no longer looks like meat. The pulled pork that has been so over cooked that it looks more like ground meat. That is not our goal here. For this reason, I like to use my roaster and cook the pork in the oven.
Yes, the crock pot is super convenient but you can’t get the crispy edges! Using the roaster and removing the lid for the last hour allows you to develop a nice crust and balances the texture of the meat. Remember we want pulled pork, not shredded pork. I use two forks and separate the pork into bit size pieces. Pork shoulder tends to have a lot of fat which is great for flavor but make sure you remove most of it when you are pulling.
The mango salsa is super simple to put together and can be prepared well ahead of time. I usually make it when I put the pork in the oven so the flavors have time to come together. If you don’t have a mango you can substitute pineapple. For the pepper and onion, I like to finely dice them so you get larger pieces of mango in each bite. Use your judgement and adjust the ratio of mango to pepper/onion to suit your personal preference.
Let me introduce you to your new favorite taco.
Hawaiian Pulled Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Serves 4-6
- Prep Time 20 minutes
- Cook Time 3.5 hours
Hawaiian Pulled Pork
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup tomato paste
2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
2 cups chopped pineapple
3 – 4 pounds pork shoulder
Salt and pepper
12 ounces beer (full bodied, not light)
1 mango, chopped
½ red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon salt
Chipotle Cream Sauce
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 ounces green chiles
For Taco Assembly
Cotija cheese (or other Mexican-style cheese)
4-5 Radishes, thinly sliced
DirectionsIf possible, remove pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan to place it in the oven. Salt and pepper liberally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, combine garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sriracha, and pineapple. Process until well combined. Place pork in a heavy roaster pan. Pour pineapple mixture over pork and make sure all side are covered. Pour beer over pork. Cover roaster with lid and bake for 2 – 2 ½ hours. Make sure some liquid remains. If it has evaporated, add 2 cups of water. Remove lid and return to oven. Cook for additional hour. Remove from oven and shred using two forks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Transfer ½ - 1 cup of pan juice onto the shredded mixture.
For mango salsa, combine all ingredients and set aside. For chipotle cream sauce, combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
To assemble tacos, wrap tacos in foil and heat in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes. Place desired amount of pork on tortilla. Top with mango salsa, cheese, avocado, radish and drizzle with chipotle cream sauce.