BBQ pulled pork tacos! Just stop for a minute and think about that. An easy and perfect and, dare we say, consummate use for leftover pulled pork.
BBQ pulled pork tacos. Because even the most creative of us run out of new ideas for tacos some nights. Warm tortillas are piled high with sweet pulled pork, spicy chipotle coleslaw, and tangy barbecue sauce. We bet you can’t stop at one. We know we certainly didn’t.–Angie Zoobkoff
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PULLED AND SHREDDED PORK?
These tacos are made either with leftovers or pulled pork that you made specifically for this recipe. But what if you don’t have the forethought or time and just want to snarf down these little beauties? Pulled pork is made from a low and slow-cooked piece of pork that is so tender that it just falls apart when you touch it. It also has a distinctive taste and texture—juicy and melts in your mouth awesome—that comes from the cooking process. On the other hand, you can just cook up a small tenderloin and give a quick shred by pulling it apart with 2 forks. If you’re not a true pulled pork aficionado, you’ll probably enjoy it just as much—it is pork, after all.
BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos
For the chipotle slaw
- 1/2 head (10 oz) red cabbage cored and finely shredded
- 1/2 head (10 oz) green cabbage cored and finely shredded
- 1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 bunch scallions finely chopped (6 to 8 scallions)
- 1 cup (8 oz) matchstick carrots from 2 or 3 medium carrots
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup chipotle salsa
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Sriracha chile sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 lime juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
Make the slaw
Assemble the BBQ pulled pork tacos
- Melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high until it foams, about 1 minute. Add the tortillas, a couple at a time, and cook until the bottoms are lightly charred, 15 to 45 seconds.
- Turn and top each with 3 ounces (85 g) pork and cook for 30 seconds. Fold the tacos slightly, and move to a large platter. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding butter as needed to the skillet between batches.
- Top each taco with about 1/4 cup slaw and 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce. Serve immediately and don’t forget to pass additional barbecue sauce on the side.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I jumped at the chance to test this BBQ pulled pork tacos recipe so that we’d have a batch of pulled pork for the week to use in multiple recipes and a coleslaw to pull double-duty both in these tacos as well as a side for other meals such as the pulled pork grilled cheese. I used the slow cooker pulled pork to the delight of my family—it was so tender and everyone loved the cinnamon flavor. The combination of the tender pork, crunchy & spicy slaw with a dollop of vinegar barbecue sauce really hits the spot for a weeknight meal. I'd use less butter when charring the tortillas and do more of a dry heat on a hot skillet (still recommend medium-high).
I made these BBQ pulled pork tacos with a vinegar barbecue sauce and they were excellent. The chipotle slaw came together quickly and was delicious after being refrigerated for a few hours. I warmed the butter in my cast-iron pan, about 15 seconds, and then added the corn tortilla. It only took another 15 seconds the bottoms became charred and a little crisp. I flipped the tortillas over before filling them, cooking for another 15 seconds.
I folded the tortillas as they cooled. They were crispy but still chewy. And buttery. The tortillas were amazing this way—filled with the vinegar BBQ sauce and the crispy coleslaw, the whole thing was just delicious. This recipe served 6 (4 at dinner, 2 for leftovers) with 3 tacos each using 1/4 cup slaw and pork per taco. I had put the barbecue sauce in a squeeze bottle and let everyone sauce their own. There was exactly enough pork and there was a little more slaw than was needed but not by much.
Originally published April 25, 2017