Slow-Cooker Pork Chili Tacos

20190723_184421It’s been too long since I posted a taco recipe! I’ve been trying out vegetarian tacos recently, but this time I just really wanted something meaty and dripping with sauce. After the first time I had this pork stew recipe from The New York Times, I knew it would work great in a taco shell. Boy was I right.

The details:

Jump to recipe

Thought process:

Building on the excellent base of a repurposed pork stew, I carefully selected the toppings to BALANCE the stew and take it to the next level. With so few toppings, each one was carefully selected. Mango may be a surprising choice, but its sweetness was needed and complemented the coconut in the pork.

Charring Corn Tortillas – I like flour tortillas, but I don’t think they add to a taco in the same way that a corn tortilla does. A few years ago I had a gas stove and started quickly charring the corn tortillas directly over the flame while warming them. This was game-changing – the char gives them a smoky campfire flavor and really brings out the sweet corn taste. My tacos were completely elevated. Now I’m back to an electric stove. I tried charring them on the electric burner this time, but it tasted weird. Until I get a gas stove again, I’ll have to soften them in the microwave.


Below, the recipe:

Slow-Cooker Pork Chili Tacos

20190722_201137Pork Chili
Based on this recipe from The New York Times

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt (fat trimmed), or pork stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup dried yellow or green split peas
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can or package diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk, solids and liquid whisked together
  1. In a large bowl, combine the pork with the cumin, salt, garam masala and cayenne. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Cover the split peas with boiling water to cover by 2 inches, and let soak overnight. Drain.
  3. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 8 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Add cinnamon stick, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for 5 minutes, until the jalapeño is tender. Add the pork and any juices from the bowl and sauté until lightly browned all over, about 7 minutes.
  4. Transfer everything to a crock pot and stir in tomatoes, split peas and coconut milk and season with more salt, to taste. The pork should just be covered by liquid. If it’s not, add a little water until it is.
  5. Cook over low for at least 6 hours, until pork is tender and falling apart easily

20190723_181940Pickled Radishes
Based on this recipe from David Lebovitz

  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  1. Slice the radishes into ¼ inch thick rounds.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat.
  3. Pack the radishes in a clean pint-sized jar and pour the hot liquid over them.
  4. Cover and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

To serve

  • Corn tortillas or bib lettuce leaves
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, rough chop
  1. Top a corn tortilla (ideally lightly grilled) with the pork mixture, radishes, mango, and cilantro


5/5 stars.5 stars

These tacos are so easy and really delicious! With so few components, each ingredient plays a starring role – the meat is fatty and salty, the radishes are crunchy and sour, the mango is sweet, the tortilla is earthy and (if you’re luckier than me) smoky, and the cilantro is bright and grassy. All together they’re beautifully balanced and beautiful.


2 thoughts on “Slow-Cooker Pork Chili Tacos

  1. Pingback: Slow-Cooker Pork Chili Tacos — Results Not Guaranteed | My Meals are on Wheels

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