Smoked Pork Tacos

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You might remember last year we purchased a smoker grill after the bacon making class. Since then we’ve used it for chicken and vegetables, but this is the first time trying a slow smoked pork shoulder. The Kamado ceramic style smoker grill we have is difficult for low and slow cooking, but we do it anyway. The pork should be cooked around 225°F, and we did all we could to keep the temperature below 300°F. Our 7 lb pork shoulder was done in 6 hours, and it really should have taken 7-10 hours. Regardless it tasted amazing. Below is the Bobby Flay recipe I used. I didn’t make the slaw he suggested but I’ve included it below, so I can’t really comment on the taste for that. The slaw I made was pretty simple: shredded cabbage, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, chopped jalapeño and salt. The longer you let it sit the better it tastes. Well that was our Cinco De Mayo last weekend, these tacos and margaritas! The pork tastes awesome and I would recommend this recipe. :)

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Slow Smoked Pork Shoulder with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Queso Fresco

Smoked Pork Shoulder

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 or 2 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (about 5 pounds)
  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Napa Cabbage Slaw, recipe follows
  • Hot sauce
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco

Slaw

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco

Special equipment: 2 cups wood chips (hickory or apple), soaked in water 30 minutes

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme, garlic, onions, ancho chile powder, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, orange juice, lime juice, 1/2 water and chipotle, and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Put the pork in a large pan and pour over the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat a charcoal grill for indirect heat and place the soaked wood chips on top of the coals.

Place the pork on the grill, cover and let smoke until the temperature inside the grill is 220 degrees F. Add chips as necessary to continue smoking until the internal temperature of the pork reaches140 degrees F. Then just let the pork finish cooking until the internal temperature reaches about 190 degrees F. This can take about 5 hours. Let the pork rest 30 minutes.

Shred the pork and serve in the warm tortillas topped with some Napa Cabbage Slaw, hot sauce, fresh cilantro leaves and queso fresco.

Napa Cabbage Slaw:

Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, oil and celery seeds until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the green onions and serrano chiles. Place the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Add the dressing and the queso fresco, and toss to combine.

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