Pulled pork tacos are definitely one of our top five favourite meals. The recipe is very low-fuss, and you can mix and match any sides you like to make it a different dinner (or lunch!) every single time.
They’re great stuffed with meats or legumes, fresh tomato salsa, greens and kimchi but the sky’s the limit so get creative. You can even try things like a pesto, guacamole, fermented pickles and homemade chutneys.
I tend to cook quite a large piece of pork whenever I’m cooking this recipe because it can be used in so many other meals. It’s great to throw into Buddha bowls for lunches and can be added to breakfast omelettes too.
The masa harina tacos are a little something I learned to make in classes with Jude Blereau and Holly Davis. They really are very easy to make and remove the need to buy supermarket varieties. A wonderful thing as so many of them are laden with additives and preservatives.
Masa harina is a staple in Mexican cuisine. It is a traditional gluten-free flour made from corn that has been dried, soaked in a limewater solution, washed and ground into a kind of cornmeal/flour. The niacin and calcium in the limewater soaking solution help to break down the corn and make the masa harina much easier to digest than regular cornmeal. It’s also high in fibre, vitamin A, iron and zinc. Lots to love about it!
You don’t really need any special equipment to make these – but the process can be a lot faster if you do have a little taco press and cast iron pan. I got both of mine from the Essential Ingredient in Sydney.
If you’d prefer beef to pork, try a grass-fed brisket. You follow much the same recipe although it can need a little extra cooking. A 1.4kg piece of brisket needs about 4-5 hours. Of course, you could use chicken too (this is a great shredded chicken recipe) or just fill them with legumes if you prefer.
Pulled pork with smoked paprika tacosCourse: Lunch, DinnerDifficulty: Medium
1.8kg free range pork shoulder (mine was bone in)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves removed (sage is also fab)
2 – 3 cups good quality chicken stock (with no nasties)
Salt and pepper to season the pork
1 cup masa harina
3/4 cup water
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
Toppings of choice to serve (e.g. fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, panfried green, fermented veg etc.)
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius
- Season the pork with salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large casserole (I used my 28cm Le Creuset) over a medium/high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Once browned, turn off the heat and sit the meat fat side up in the pan.
- Cover the top and sides of the meat with the Dijon mustard then sprinkle over the rosemary
- Pour the apple cider vinegar into the pot along with the stock and make sure the liquid comes half way up the meat on all sides. Start with two cups but if you need more add more
- Put the lid on the casserole and put it in oven to cook for 3 hours. The cooking time will really depend on how the heat is distributed in your oven. If the meat is not falling apart after 3 hours just leave it in a little longer until it is
- Remove from the oven and leave it sitting in the pot, covered, as you make the tacos
- To make the Masa Harina Tacos
- About 30 minutes before the pork is ready – Heat a cast iron skillet or frying pan on a medium/high heat
- Mix together the masa harina, water, smoked paprika, and salt until a dough forms
- Break off large bliss ball sized balls and either roll them between two sheets of baking paper with a rolling-pin to make a small round taco (10cm in size), or use your taco press. To do this – place one sheet of baking paper on the bottom of the press, put the dough ball on top, cover with another piece of baking paper then press down to form your taco.
- Put that taco onto the pre-heated pan to dry fry and flip after a minute or two, or when the taco is showing some colour and the edges are curling slightly. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the tacos are cooked. Keep them warm as you make them.
- As you make the last 2 tacos – shred the pork with two forks.
- Serve the tacos with pork plus your chosen toppings.
- My little pan will only take one taco at a time but if yours can do more put two or three in at the same time. Just as you make the last couple of tacos, start shredding the pork and leave it sitting in the juices until you’re ready to serve. The shredding is best done with two forks.
- Note: Some masa harina flours may be processed in facilities that also process wheat. Others may be mixed with wheat flours, so be sure the brand you buy states that it is gluten-free. GMO free is another must.