For Cinco de Mayo, South of the border meets South Louisiana in this Pulled Pork Tacos with Creole Crema–a taco taste sensation. I love how the citrus flavors of the orange-brined pork shoulder are elevated by the spike of jalapeños and Cajun seasoning that work so deliciously with farm-fresh vegetables. And the cool and creamy horseradish and lime-infused Creole Crema tops it all off.

My Pulled Pork Tacos are just as easy as they are tasty. (All photos credit: George Graham)
My Pulled Pork Tacos are just as easy as they are tasty. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Backyard get-togethers don’t always have to be exhausting, dragging out the barbecue pit and slaving over a blazing fire. Sometimes outdoor entertaining can be cooked indoors. That’s what I had in mind with my Pulled Pork Tacos recipe.

With just a little pre-planning, this recipe is a cinch. Brined in a salty orange juice bath and slow-roasted to fall-apart tender, a 4-pound pork shoulder is delicious cooked in a conventional oven. With precise heat control in a tightly covered vessel, the roast maintains moisture for perfect pull-apart pork just begging for a tortilla.

Festive and fun, dinner becomes a party with my Pulled Pork Tacos.
Festive and fun, dinner becomes a party with my Pulled Pork Tacos.

This recipe is all about contrasts. The crisp vegetable garnishes provide a crunch factor that plays against the crema, and the citrusy flavors of orange, lime and pineapple cut the richness of the pork. All wrapped up in a neat little package, all you need is a top-shelf margarita, and you’re set for a backyard bash. No sweat!

Don't forget the margaritas--the perfect accompaniment for these Pulled Pork Tacos.
Don’t forget the margaritas–the perfect accompaniment for these Pulled Pork Tacos.
4.0 from 1 reviews
Pulled Pork Tacos with Creole Crema
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Pork
  • 1 quart orange juice (with pulp), plus 2 cups
  • 1 cup table salt
  • 1 (4-pound) pork shoulder (Boston butt) roast, bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crema
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Creole mustard or grainy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Tacos
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 12 flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple salsa
  • 4 jalapeños, sliced
  • 4 sweet mini-peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
Instructions
Pork
  1. In a large container with a lid, pour in 1 quart of orange juice and salt, and stir to combine. Add the pork along with 2 cups of ice. If needed, add water to cover the meat. Cover the container and let refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove the pork roast and pat dry.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300ºF.
  3. Rub the roast with oil and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, add the roast. Brown on all sides including the fat cap. Add the onions and bell pepper and continue to cook until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and cilantro to the pot. Add another 2 cups of orange juice to deglaze the pot. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the roast fat-side-up on top of the vegetables; cover and roast for 2 hours. Uncover and roast for 1 hour longer until the fat cap browns, and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170ºF, or until fork tender. Remove the pork roast from the pot and place on a platter to rest covered with foil. Reserve the cooking liquid for later use.

Crema
  1. In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and whisk until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tacos
  1. Move the pork to a cutting board and shred. Place the pork in a mixing bowl and moisten with 1 cup of cooking liquid from the pot along with the lime juice. In each plate, add 2 tortillas along with a portion of pulled pork. Garnish with red onion, cilantro, and salsa. Add a drizzle (I use a squeeze bottle) of the Creole Crema on top. Serve with sliced jalapeño, sweet peppers, sliced avocado, cheese, and lime wedges on the side, along with more of the crema.
Notes
Cooking time does not include brining. I prefer flour tortillas, but you might want to go with the corn tortillas. I have a reliable supermarket source for fresh refrigerated pineapple salsa, but you may opt to make your own. Either way, use fresh ingredients; no jarred salsa here. And if you want to make your salsa from scratch, check out my Tropical Salsa recipe here.
Cool and spicy, these Pulled Pork Tacos have a contrast in taste and texture.
Cool and spicy, these Pulled Pork Tacos have a contrast in taste and texture.

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