Spicy Shredded Pork
This recipe has been a signature of mine for years. I made this for my audition to Masterchef and it is my go to for taco bar parties; it is actually one of my husband's absolute favorites. I developed it after trying the Pioneer Woman recipe from her first book, I liked it but knew it needed a flavor upgrade!
It is perfect for parties, family dinners, Cinco de Mayo, and perfect to have extras in your freezer. This recipe makes a ton so you will have lots of leftovers to try all the different ways to enjoy pounds of Babe the Pig. You can use this savory meat for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chili, taco bowls, sandwiches, pizza, breakfast hash - basically anything you want! Best part, this is Whole30, keto, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, healthy, so pretty much, if people eat meat, they can enjoy it.
Don't be afraid of the number of ingredients, I would bet that you have everything in your pantry at this exact moment. I love recipes that use the pork shoulder/butt (they are exactly the same and I have no idea why they have different names depending on the store). This is also perfect to make on a lazy, rainy day, while you're hanging out at the house for hours. You can do this in the slow cooker, but I prefer the dutch-oven method as it comes out much better than the slow cooker. It is Tuesday, so go grab your dutch-oven and get cookin'.
Spicy Shredded Pork
- 5-7 lb Pork Shoulder or Butt, bone in or out
- 6 dates, soaked in boiling water for about 10 minutes
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 large or 2 small onions, ends removed and quartered
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (check those labels for hidden yuck). I make my own mix from the Pinning Mama
- 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce - I love Cholula
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon all spice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cups water
- Start by soaking the dates while you gather everything. Preheat the oven to 300. Pat dry the pork and place into your Dutch oven.
- Place all of the ingredients (other than the oil and water) into a food processor or high speed blender. Once everything is in there, start the processor and drizzle in the oil while it is running.
- Once the sauce is combined thoroughly, rub it all over the pork, get every nook and cranny, all of the sauce will go into the pot. Pour the 2 cups of water around the pork. Don't pour the water onto the pork or all the sauce will run off.
- Cover and place the pork into the oven. Set a timer for every hour when you will turn the pork over and make sure to cover it with some of that delicious juice until that pig is falling apart. Mine took 6 hours for a 7 lb roast.
- Shred the pork in the pot with some tongs or forks, keep it in the juice to concentrate the flavors. If you want some crispy bits, keep the cover off and increase the heat to 400 or broil for a few minutes at the very end.
Lid on, into the oven. Don't be sad, you will see your dutch-oven a lot in the next few hours. Remember, take it out every hour to rotate the pork (flip it over) and scoop the juice over the top. Then put the dutch-oven lid back on and back into the oven it goes for the next 60 minutes when you start the process over again. Here are some photos of the process. When it is falling apart, like the 3rd pic, you shred it up, sneak a couple bites, and pop back into the oven for crispy bits, ya know, the best parts.
I used this deliciousness to make a caulirice "bowl" with sauteed peppers and onions and a little guac to make the world extra. I hope you love it as much as our family does, now go and make it into your own family favorite!