Two words, put together that are guaranteed to make me weak at the knees everytime. They’re not “chocolate fondant” or “lemon meringue”, or even “ginger beer”. The words I’m talking about are “pulled pork”. Oh yes, what in the world could possibly be better than a pork shoulder, roasted slowly for hours until its falling apart under your fork. And then, add carbs. Whether you put the meat directly onto a sandwich, or with black beans and rice in a burrito, or as I’ve done here, with a tomato and avocado salsa in a delicious taco. Pulled pork is always a hands down winner, and one of my favourite things to cook.
I first made this recipe when I was in Perth, when we were entertaining my boyfriend’s sister and her man. I knew it would go down a treat, and score me some brownie points, plus I had to somehow top the awesome pizzas I’d made them the visit before! The meat was juicy and oh so tender, I couldn’t help but nibble away (and moan in delight) as I was shredding the pork. It was absolutely perfect washed down with a Broome-brewed Matso Ginger Beer on a warm day. Speaking of the Ginger Beer, it was absolutely delicious, refreshing and almost embarrassingly easy to drink. Make sure you check it out if you’re ever in Western Australia, as it doesn’t seem to be stocked outside of the state.
When I tried slow roasting the pork at home in my own oven, it didn’t quite turn out the same. I think it was because we could only get a boneless pork shoulder, after visiting several butchers, so over the long cooking time the meat ended up a little drier but delicious nonetheless. It’s important to be aware of the weight of your pork, and adjust your cooking time accordingly. It’s also a good idea to keep checking on the piggy regularly throughout the cooking time, turning the pan to ensure it cooks evenly.
You know it’s ready when you can shred it with forks and the meat falls off the bone. And then it’s time to invite me over for dinner! The original recipe gave instructions for how to make your own wheat flour tortillas, which I didn’t do this time but would love to try out in the future. I’ve included it in the recipe below in case you’re so inclined. I seriously can’t wait to shake off the last of winter’s cold and start cooking and eating outside again. I know this recipe is firmly logded into my summer cooking repertoire and will make an appearance at my dinner table again very soon.
Pulled Pork Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salsa
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller
• 1.8kg pork shoulder, bone in
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
Wheat Flour Tortillas
• 450g plain or bread flour
• 120g lard
Tomato and Avocado Salsa
• 2 avocados
• 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
• ½ teaspoon chipotle chilli, or chilli powder
• ½ cup loosely packed coriander leaves
• 40ml lime juice
Place pork shoulder in a large baking dish. Drizzle with oil and rub in the cumin. Season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper, rubbing to coat evenly. Roast at 200°C (390°F) for 1 hour, then reduce heat to 150°C (300°F) and cook for 2 ½ hours. It’s ready when the meat comes cleanly away from the bone.
For wheat flour tortillas, place flour in a large bowl and using fingertips, rub in the lard until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, combine 1 teaspoon sea salt with 1 cup water. Add to flour and mix until combined. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. Heat a flat, heavy based fry pan over low heat. Roll a tablespoon of dough into a 15cm thick circl. Place into the frypan and cook fro 1-2 minutes on each side or until just coloured. Repeat with remaining dough, covering cooked tortillas with a towel to keep warm.
For salsa, peel avocadoes, halve and remove stones and then cut flesh into 1cm pieces. Combine with tomatoes, chilli, coriander and lime juice and season to taste.
To serve, coarsely shred meat using two forks. Place some on each tortilla, top with salsa and serve immediately with a beer.