Smoky pulled pork tacos – Everything from scratch!

24 October 2012
by Phuoc

Hello! Anyone still there? I know I’ve neglected this blog for some time now but life has been a little crazy for me and I anticipate that it’s only going to get a lot more insane from here on. So please bare with me.

One of the things that has happened was that I moved out of home. I’m loving it. I’m closer to uni, I love the area I’m in and I just love the freedom that I have now.

The first few weeks have consisted of moving my belongings up three flight of stairs (what a workout that had been), waiting for the furniture/white goods delivery guys to come, as well as assembling all the furniture. To show my appreciation to Ant, who’s been helping me with the move, I had to cook him dinner. All I had on my mind was pulled pork. But what should I serve it with…?

Initially, I wanted to make these awesome brioche burgers with pulled pork by Steph but was craving tacos instead. I played around with a few ideas for the accompaniments and settled on guacamole, corn salsa and a simple red cabbage slaw; but you can just about have any accompaniment that you want. I wanted to make everything from scratch; from the pulled pork filling to soft corn tortillas. Everything! A visit to Fiji Markets, Newtown was required for the chipotle chillies and white corn flour as they were harder to find elsewhere. This store has every spice and herb imaginable, and they stock a decent amount of foreign condiments as well.

It was pretty frantic that afternoon as I was preparing everything. I had planned to speed up the cooking process by cooking the pork shoulder in my 5-in-1 slow cooker, but of all days it decided to not work! What the heck?! At about this time I had to pick up one of my sisters as well. So there was plenty of cursing to be heard. How am I going to cook the damn thing on time?! I have no patience at all. Luckily for me, the ever patient Anthony simply told me to chuck it in the oven but I had to rush off because my sister was waiting for me, so he did it for me instead. It wasn’t as tender as I hoped for but it was still ok, a few more hours would’ve made the meat fall apart easier and would’ve made the shredding process a lot easier!

I didn’t bring everything with me to the new home initially, so when it came to rolling out the dough for the tortilla, I realised that I didn’t have my rolling-pin! I had to improvise with a wine bottle instead which did the job. All of the tortillas weren’t perfectly round but hey, it’s the rustic look. By the end of the night, I had plenty of red cabbage slaw left over. So being the frugal uni student that I am, I turned them into braised red cabbage, portioned them into single servings, and had them with honey mustard pork chops a few nights later. I was quite pressed with myself. Giving new life to leftovers… Brilliant!

Smoky pulled pork

Recipe from Feast on the Cheap via Morsels and Musings

Serves 4


2kg pork shoulder, bone in

1 medium brown onion, diced

1 cup carrot, grated or julienned

4 garlic cloves, sliced

2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (purchased at Fiji Markets, or can be purchased online)

2 x 400g can diced tomatoes

1 cup passata (tomato sauce)

1 cup ketchup

1 cup BBQ sauce

1/2 cup red wine

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp adobo sauce (from chipotle chillies)

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

Olive oil, for frying


  1. Trim the pork shoulder of skin and excess fat to prevent congealing in the slow cooker
  2. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrot, garlic and chipotle chillies in olive oil until the onion is translucent.
  3. In a bowl, combine the sautéed vegetables, BBQ sauce, ketchup, crushed tomatoes, passata, adobo sauce, red wine, cider vinegar, dried oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  4. Back in the frying pan, sear the pork shoulder and brown on all sides.
  5. In the slow cooker, pour a cup or so of sauce into the base to completely cover the bottom.
  6. Put the pork shoulder inside the slow cooker and cover completely in sauce. Cover and cook at 100C for 5 hours. [Alternatively, cook the shoulder covered in sauce in a baking dish wrapped with foil in the oven at 120C for 6 hours. Checking every hour so the pork doesn’t burn]
  7. Switch to your pressure cooker setting and cook for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the pork from the sauce, cool then shred with a fork. Set aside in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap to keep moist.
  9. Pour the sauce into a pan and check seasoning. Adjust balance of sweet and sour according to your tastes, then reduce the sauce by simmering for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Blend into a purée (or you can skip this step if you prefer a chunkier sauce).
  10. In a bowl, add enough sauce to pork to allow for a sticky but not soupy mix.

Print this recipe

Red cabbage slaw

Recipe from April 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine


1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tsp. sugar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 head red cabbage , cored and thinly sliced

1/4 small red onion , grated or finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, orange juice, and sugar; drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add cabbage and onion to bowl and toss well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


3 ripe avocados

2 tsp chopped coriander (about 2-3 stalks)

Juice of 1/2 lime

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tomato, seeded and diced


  1. Roughly mash avocado with coriander, lime and cayenne pepper.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Fold through diced tomatoes.
  4. Set aside until ready to serve.

Grilled corn salsa

Recipe from My New Roots


200g corn kernels, drained

1/2 red onion, sliced into rings

1 red capsicum


2 tbsp. lime juice (about 1/2 lime)

1/2 tsp honey

1 fat clove garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp. EVOO

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Pinch of ground pepper

2-3 stalks of coriander, chopped


  1. Prepare the veggies and brush them lightly with melted ghee or high heat cooking oil.
  2. 2. Place everything on a preheated, medium-hot grill. Close lid and reduce heat to medium. After 5 minutes check the avocado. If it has grill marks, remove it. Give other vegetables a quick check – if they also have grill marks, turn and/or flip them.
  3.  Continue to flip veggies until softened. This should take between 10 and 20 minutes (depending on the vegetable). The corn will take the longest to cook, but since you can eat corn raw, don’t worry too much about it – as long as it tastes good!
  4. While the grill is on, make dressing by combining everything (except the cilantro) in a jar with a lid. Shake well to combine.
  5. Remove all vegetables from grill and let sit until cool enough to touch. Begin by slicing the chili pepper down the center lengthwise, scrape out and discard the seeds, mince, and add to the dressing. Cut the corn off the cobs, and add kernels to a large bowl. Dice the other vegetables and add it to the corn. Pour dressing over vegetables, add cilantro, and fold to combine. Season to taste.

Soft corn tortillas

3/4 cups of corn flour

1/2 cup water


  1. Mix flour and water together in a bowl to combine, knead dough on working bench until soft (but not sticky) dough forms.
  2. Cover in cling wrap and rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 balls, keeping them covered as you work.
  4. Flatten the ball of dough into a disc and roll it out to a thickness of about 3mm between two sheets of baking paper. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, or do this as you heat up the rolled out tortillas.
  5. Heat up a frying pan to medium-high heat and place rolled out tortilla dough on for about 60 seconds, flip over and heat for another 60 seconds until they start to brown and puff up a little.
  6. Remove off the heat, repeat with remaining rolled dough and keep them covered with kitchen towel until you are ready to eat.


  1. Tina @ bitemeshowme

    Despite things not really going all to plan, you still pulled it off with your improvisation and looks like it was a treat! Great job, Phuoc. Hopefully it won’t be too long again til you’re back 😛

  2. Christine

    Hooray for moving out! Looks like a great homemade dinner to celebrate with 🙂

  3. Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Go Anthony! Wine bottle is the perfect substitute for a rolling pin, specially if it is chilled and you are doing a shortcrust pastry or the likes. I think that rustic has more appeal than perfect when you are making dishes at home. They look scrumptious,pork sounds and looks awesome, and good on you for making your own tortillas.

  4. Tina@foodboozeshoes

    Yuh-um! Love the wine bottle trick 😉

  5. Richard Elliot

    Looks great Phuoc. I recently did some playing around with a Heston pulled pork recipe which I really enjoyed. He doesn’t use any chilli and has a sweet and sour vibe going on (a bit more parent friendly who can’t take too much chilli).

    I made a batch with pork leg as well as pork shoulder shoulder. I found the pork leg was a lot easier to pull and just as tasty making it my cut of choice going forward.

  6. Jacq

    Looks great! I recently had a go at making my own flour tortillas and I am never going back to the packet stuff!

  7. Phuoc

    Tina: Thanks! Yeah me too, I have a MASSIVE back log of posts to share!

    Christine: Thank you 🙂 It was a pretty awesome feast if I should say so myself

    Sara: Never thought to use a chilled wine bottle for rolling out pastries, how clever!

    Tina: Not a problem. Luckily for me a had a bottle of wine about 🙂

    Richard: Oh nice! Thanks for the tip, will have to try it out next time when I make it. And I’d have to try Heston’s pulled pork recipe as well! Sounds awesome

    Jacq: I can’t believe it’s so easy to make!

  8. Helen (Grab Your Fork)

    Loving your homemade tortillas. Have always been fascinated by tortilla presses but I agree, your rustic tortillas look even more appealing.

  9. Phuoc

    Helen: Awww thanks! Yeah I felt the same, but to pay about $100 for the press to use only once in a while doesn’t seem worth it to me

  10. Simon Food Favourites

    that’s one might fine looking pulled pork taco. i’d have 3 of those very happily.

  11. Riley

    Pulled prok tacos FTW! I’m so going to make this. Been craving tacos for ages plus always wanted to make my own tortillas as I stay way from the plastic ones from the supermarket.

  12. Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy

    Jeeez!! I have Mexican food on the brain since Adelaide – pulled pork is my absolute favorite. Love every component of this. Great to catch up with you 🙂

  13. Phuoc

    Simon Food Favourites: Thanks!

    Riley: Awesome! Let me know how you go when/if you get the chance to make them 🙂

    Anna: HAHA tell me about it! I’m still dreaming about that grilled corn and chilli con carne mmmm… Likewise, it’s always great seeing you!

  14. Martyna @ Wholesome Cook

    Even after a week in the US, and having pulled pork anything any chance I got it was the only meat I did not tire of! Your tacos look great, love the slaw and guac too and tortillas, yum yum!
    Oh, I recently made some tortillas too – did you use just regular cornflour – the white stuff that thickens sauces?

  15. Phuoc

    Martyna: Thanks! I used white corn masa flour, which I had bought from Fiji Markets

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