These juicy pork tacos are slowly braised in a dutch oven until the meat is fall-apart tender. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, onions, dried ancho chiles, brown sugar, your favorite dark beer and a healthy pour of honey give these tacos a unique spicy, yet sweet, flavor. Topped with pineapple-jicama salsa, pickled radish and avocado crema, this recipe is a new, fun twist for your next Taco Tuesday.
Does anyone not love tacos? If you don’t, then we probably can’t be friends (joking). Tacos have always been a staple in my weekly dinner routine and are also one of my favorite foods to experiment with. They’re so versatile because they can be made with just about any protein, vegetable, fruit or grain you can think of. The filling possibilities are endless and (almost) always delicious.
This recipe was inspired by a recent lunch outing I had with one of my best friends. We both ordered these fajitas that were made with this super delicious honey-chipotle sauce. After trying them, I instantly knew I wanted to try and recreate it at home. Only rather than fajitas, I’m doing tacos.
One thing I felt the fajitas at the restaurant were missing was acidity. Which is why I’m adding a simple pineapple-jicama salsa to my recipe. Not only does this salsa add a little acid to the tacos, but the pineapple complements the pork beautifully and the jicama adds a nice crunch. Made with fresh pineapple, jicama, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, and a little lime juice, this salsa is also delicious served with chips. I’ve also used it on top of salads and grilled fish.
As for the meat, it couldn’t be easier. It all starts with seasoning a nice-sized pork roast (pork shoulder). The meat is generously rubbed with a mixture of ground coriander, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Once seasoned, it is seared on all sides in a screaming-hot dutch oven until browned all over. The best park about searing the pork is the brown sugar begins to caramelize so you get these crispy bits all over the outside of the pork.
Next, thinly sliced onions are sautéd in the same dutch oven used to sear the pork, along with garlic. Once the onions are translucent, the whole pan gets deglazed with dark beer. This allows all the yummy charred bits from searing the pork to release and become part of the braising liquid. After that, it’s time to add heat and spices. Chipotle peppers in adobo, dried ancho chiles, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaves, oregano and a few other pantry staples get added, along with a little chicken stock, before placing the pork back into the dutch oven.
From here, you just cover the dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low, and let it cook for about 4 hours. While it cooks, the juices reduce and thicken. I check on the meat usually around the 2-hour mark. If it’s looking dry, I add another 1/4 cup of chicken stock. Once the meat is falling apart, the pork is removed and shredded with two forks.
Before adding the meat back into the dutch oven, however, the sauce gets finished up. All of the braising liquid, spices, peppers and herbs get added into a blender or food processor and puréed until smooth. Then, the purée gets returned to the dutch oven along with a healthy dose of honey and a little butter. Finally, the pork gets added back to the sauce and everything is tossed together until every inch of the pork is coated in the yummy sauce.
From here, it’s time to serve and assemble the tacos. In addition to the pineapple-jicama salsa, I top these tacos with a bit of pickled radish, fresh cilantro, avocado crema, and queso fresco. Because these tacos are pretty sweet, additional acidity from the pickled radish helps balance out the sweetness of the honey and brown sugar.
Also, I’d put these tacos in the medium to hot range when it comes to spice level. If you want to go milder, you can reduce the number of whole chipotle peppers or eliminate the peppers and use only the adobo sauce the peppers are canned in. The sauce alone typically packs quite a punch. Luckily, the avocado crema and queso fresco do wonders to cool off the heat of these tacos. Therefore, even if you go full blast with the peppers, these two toppings give the palette some relief.
I’ve tried these tacos on both flour tortillas and corn tortillas and both work wonderfully—choose whichever you prefer. My favorite tortillas are actually a hybrid of white corn and wheat by La Tortilla Factory. They hold up like traditional flour tortillas, but still, have that corn tortilla flavor that I love. They use to be hard to find, but I’m seeing them pretty much everywhere now. They’re linked here if you want to try and find them at a grocery store near you.
What are your favorite tacos? Do you prefer classic ground beef or are you enjoying the emergence of all these new, unique taco variations? Let me know in the comments below. I personally love all the creative combinations I’m seeing—both on social media and in restaurants. I’ve really become interested in Mexican cooking, in general lately so expect to see more in the coming months. Do you have any favorite blogs or cookbooks for authentic Mexican cooking? I’d love to hear your recommendations.
As always, thank you so much for visiting my little corner of the Internet. If you make these Honey Chipotle Pork Tacos with Pineapple-Jicama Salsa, please give the recipe a rating and tag me on social media—it’s @frydaeblog (#frydaeblog) absolutely everywhere. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Honey Chipotle Pork Tacos with Pineapple Jicama Salsa
- 2 pounds boneless pork roast , (pork shoulder)
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar, (divided)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 medium onion, (thinly sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic, (minced)
- 12 ounces dark beer
- 2-5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, (about half of a 7oz can)
- 1 dried ancho chile, (seeds and stem removed)
- 2 whole dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- corn or flour tortillas, queso fresco, lime wedges, (for serving)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, (diced)
- 3/4 cup jicama, (diced)
- 1-2 fresh jalapenos, (diced)
- 1/2 cup white onion, (minced)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, (chopped)
- 1-2 limes, (juiced)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch radishes, (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 whole large avocado
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1-2 tablespoon milk
Honey Chipotle Pork
- Preheat a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pat the pork roast dry and then rub generously, on all sides, with ground coriander seeds, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Once the meat is seasoned and the dutch oven is preheated, drizzle a little olive oil into the pan.
Next, sear the pork on all sides, allowing it to char and caramelize before turning. Once the meat is browned on all sides, remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low.Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the thinly sliced onions. Saute until the onions are translucent—about 3-4 minutes—and then add the garlic. Cook for about 1 minute and then deglaze the pan with 12 ounces of dark beer.Bring to a simmer, then add the chipotle peppers, along with about half of the can's adobo sauce. Stir and then add the dried ancho chile, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper and onion powder. Combine and then pour 1/4 cup of chicken stock over everything. You want the braising liquid to come up about halfway on the meat and not completely cover the meat.Now, cover the dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to your stovetop's lowest setting. Let the meat cook for 4 hours, or until it is easily shredded with two forks. Depending on the thickness of your meat you may need more or less time.When the meat is tender, turn off the heat. Remove the meat onto a cutting board and use two forks to shred. Set aside.Next, transfer the remaining contents of the dutch oven into a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth and then return to the dutch oven. Mix the purée with 1/4 cup of honey and 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir until the butter is melted and then add the shredded pork. Toss the meat to coat it with the sauce and serve warm. To assemble the tacos, add a little honey chipotle pork to the center of a corn or flour tortilla. Top with pineapple-jicama salsa, pickled radish, cilantro, queso fresco and avocado crema. Enjoy!
- In a bowl, combine diced pineapple, jicama, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Stir to combine and then add salt and lime juice. Stir, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. When ready, give everything a final toss and serve. This salsa is best eaten within 3 days.
- In a bowl, combine water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir and then pour over thinly sliced radishes. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. These radishes can last several weeks in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.
- Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado from the skin and place in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and stir until combined. Next, add the milk a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Crema should have a thin, almost pourable consistency. Imagine a thick avocado milkshake. Sorry if that doesn't sound tasty, but that's the consistency you're going for.