Our slow cooker pork tacos are amazing but this time we took the time to smoke them too. Holy goodness! Top it with tangy purple cabbage slaw and a creamy avocado sauce for the perfect meal.
Weekends are the best time of the week. I’m usually exhausted from a big week keeping up with the kiddos/house/work and Kevin is home enough to relieve me from some of the cooking duties. Which often means, no matter the season, that we are grilling something….and it’s quite often meat for our famous slow cooker pork tacos. Insert happy dance.
Every man should know how to cook. Not only is it super practical but it’s super attractive too. Kevin cooked me dinner for our first date and we’ve been together ever since. Coincidence? Well that orange lime chicken he makes would suggest otherwise. Of course it helps that he was adorable, and smart, and crazy about me too…
Hickory is one of our go to smoking woods. Soak them in a bowl of water while you prep the grill. We smoke the meat before it goes in the slow cooker to give it all that amazing smokey taste. Just two large handfuls of wood chips is all it takes to get an incredible amount of aroma and flavor.
We were talking yesterday about exactly what cut of meat this was and honestly neither of us could remember since we make these so often and I photographed them a while ago. We use any kind of pork roast that we can find a good deal on.
Usually that is a pork shoulder (also called a Boston Butt in other places), rump roast, or some kind of boneless pork roasts. They all cook down just fine as long as they have a good bit of fat visible on them and have all day to cook. We have even cooked ones the butchers said wouldn’t break down and cut them off the bone at the end and give them another hour in the slow cooker. Works like a charm!
We also have used beef cheek with this recipe (it sounds so gross right?) but holy yum. We served those to my brother and sister in law. After they had eaten them we told them what they were, and that was a good thing as my brothers eyes got huge and you could tell his stomach flopped at the thought. Talk about an “adventure bite”! He admitted he probably wouldn’t have tried them had we told him ahead of time but that they were delicious!
And oh my word if you want to talk delicious, this is it. The meat is so full of flavor, the fat breaks down as it slow cooks and permeates the meat. The chiles and garlic and onion melt into the sauce. And the hickory smoke flows through all those layers of flavor.
Add in our creamy avocado cilantro sauce and the tangy coleslaw and crumble a bit of mexican cheese on it. Oh my gosh. Can you see now why I love it when he cooks?
You have been tasked….make this recipe soon! As if you don’t already have enough reasons to make these delicious slow cooker tacos, it’s cinqo de mayo this next week!
Here’s to happy tacos!
p.s. We have tried to be very detailed in our recipes to give you all our tips and tricks from lots of years. But these tacos truly are our simple happy food to cook. Once you have the basics down it’s easy to play and mix and match!
Slow Cooker Pork Tacos
- 4 pounds boneless pork roast or a 5-6 lb bone in pork shoulder**see note
- 1 head garlic chopped roughly
- 1 onion medium diced
- 2 7 ounce cans diced green chiles (we like fire roasted & peeled)
- 3 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp pepper
- salt to taste
- 2 large handfuls hickory wood chips optional
- Tortilla shells**
- 1 batch Avocado Sauce see below
- 1 batch Quick Pickled Purple Coleslaw
- Mexican cheese: you are looking for COTIJA queso anejado, not queso fresco which is a fresh much wetter cheese
- If you are smoking the meat then prepare the charcoal grill for cooking by stacking and igniting the briquettes.
- While grill preheats, soak wood chips in a small bucket of water.
- When coals are white and glowing place the wood chips on top of the coals, replace grill and add meat directly over coals. Cook directly over coals turning regularly, until nicely browned on all sides.
- Move meat off the coals to the side for indirect heat and continue to cook until the smoke stops.
- If you like you can leave it there for up to an hour or remove and transfer to the slow cooker.
- Place meat, garlic, onion and green chiles in crockpot on high for 3-5 hours, or on low for 8 hours. Meat should be easily shreddable with forks.
- Season to taste with cumin, pepper and salt.
- Serve with tortilla shells lightly softened in olive oil or steamed, avocado sauce, coleslaw, mexican cheese and extra cilantro.
**You can also use boston butt, and many other cuts. I always look at what is on sale and just ask the butcher if it will shred if slow cooked. It should have visible fat on it and not look too lean or it will turn out dry.
***For the tortilla shells we normally use basic corn shells that we quickly soften in a bit of olive oil. Add olive oil to a pan and swirl the shell around to evenly but lightly coat them with oil. Turn them several times in a pan until they are warm and soft and transfer to a plate in a warm oven.
The shells pictured are 1/2 flour and 1/2 corn blend which we do not soften. We also do not soften flour tortillas.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 1/2 medium avocados
- 3/4 cup cilantro
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- salt to taste
- Blend on medium until pureed.
Quick Pickled Purple Cabbage Slaw
- 1/4 of a large purple cabbage shredded
- 4 radishes cut in matchsticks
- 6 tablespoons applecider vinger
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a zippered plastic bag.
- Refrigerate. Turn it occasionally to allow it to evenly coat everything. Can be used immediately but is better with a few hours in brine. Use within 24 hours.