dave does dinner: smoked pulled pork tacos with red cabbage jicama slaw and chipotle mayonnaise
My husband decided he couldn’t live another summer without a smoker and of course I was in complete agreement that this was a necessary and major quality-of-life-improving purchase (amiright?).
So, the plan was in motion – we had to buy the smoker, set it up, cure it, seal it, build all sorts of additional “necessary contraptions” (according to Dave), land a perfect day off, find an amazing recipe (thanks Sir Bobby Flay) and then we’d finally be on the maiden voyage to tasty smoked meats town.
My friends, that day finally arrived, and it was EPIC. Dave spent the whole day making the recipes below to arrive at what can only be described as the best taco I’ve ever eaten. The pork was juicy, tender and had an amazing smoke flavor unlike anything I’ve had before. The slaw provided the perfect crunch and coolness while the chipotle mayo kicked the heat up a notch and added the perfect saucy accent that all tacos need. Totally unbelievable meal that will go down as one my all time favorites.
Smoked Guava Glazed Pulled Pork
One 4-pound boneless pork butt (Dave did 6 lb)
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups guava jelly
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper
16 corn tortillas, warmed
You will need a roaster box (we used the smoker instead) with probe thermometer and sufficient charcoal to cook pork butt for 4 to 5 hours (about 30 pounds). Since we used a smoker it took longer (about 8/9 hours).
Using a paring knife, make small slits over the entire surface of the pork, then put the pork in a large roasting pan or bowl. Combine oil, oregano, garlic and a big pinch of salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Rub all over the pork’s surface making sure to get into the slits. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
Then whisk together the guava jelly, mustard, orange and lime juices in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the roaster box according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Sprinkle the pork liberally with salt and pepper and put fat-side up on the rack over the roasting pan in the roaster box. Cook for 1 hour, flip, and cook another 2 hours. Glaze the top with the guava mixture, flip, glaze again, cover the box and cook another 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork is about 195 degrees F. You can check the meat occasionally to make sure the glaze on the top of the meat isn’t burning, so you can add sufficient charcoal to keep the box hot without burning the glaze. Total cooking time will be between 4 and 5 hours. Remove the pork, tent lightly with foil and let rest 15 minutes. Pull the pork into bite-size pieces and toss with more of the guava glaze.
Sour Orange, Red Cabbage and Jicama Slaw
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 jicama, grated on large holes of box grater
1/2 small red onion, grated on large holes of box grater
1/4 head red cabbage, grated on large holes of box grater
1 large carrot, grated on large holes of box grater
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, honey and sugar in a large bowl. Add the jicama, onions, cabbage, carrots and cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons pureed chipotles en adobo
Juice of 1/2 lime
Whisk the mayonnaise, pureed chipotles en adobo and lime juice together until smooth.
Once all of the ingredients are cooked and ready to go (don’t forget to grill/heat up the corn tortillas!), spread a decent dollop of chipotle mayo on a tortilla and top with the pulled pork and a good helping of the cabbage slaw, then EAT!
I’ve got to hand it to my husband – the man, the myth, the legend, the taco master – hands down one of the best meals I’ve had in years. Cheers babe!