For Cinco de Mayo, South of the border meets South Louisiana in this Pulled Pork Tacos with Creole Crema–a taco taste sensation. I love how the citrus flavors of the orange-brined pork shoulder are elevated by the spike of jalapeños and Cajun seasoning that work so deliciously with farm-fresh vegetables. And the cool and creamy horseradish and lime-infused Creole Crema tops it all off.
Backyard get-togethers don’t always have to be exhausting, dragging out the barbecue pit and slaving over a blazing fire. Sometimes outdoor entertaining can be cooked indoors. That’s what I had in mind with my Pulled Pork Tacos recipe.
With just a little pre-planning, this recipe is a cinch. Brined in a salty orange juice bath and slow-roasted to fall-apart tender, a 4-pound pork shoulder is delicious cooked in a conventional oven. With precise heat control in a tightly covered vessel, the roast maintains moisture for perfect pull-apart pork just begging for a tortilla.
This recipe is all about contrasts. The crisp vegetable garnishes provide a crunch factor that plays against the crema, and the citrusy flavors of orange, lime and pineapple cut the richness of the pork. All wrapped up in a neat little package, all you need is a top-shelf margarita, and you’re set for a backyard bash. No sweat!
- 1 quart orange juice (with pulp), plus 2 cups
- 1 cup table salt
- 1 (4-pound) pork shoulder (Boston butt) roast, bone-in
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- 1 teaspoon Creole mustard or grainy brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 12 flour tortillas, warmed
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup fresh pineapple salsa
- 4 jalapeños, sliced
- 4 sweet mini-peppers, sliced
- 1 medium avocado, sliced
- 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- In a large container with a lid, pour in 1 quart of orange juice and salt, and stir to combine. Add the pork along with 2 cups of ice. If needed, add water to cover the meat. Cover the container and let refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove the pork roast and pat dry.
- Preheat your oven to 300ºF.
- Rub the roast with oil and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, add the roast. Brown on all sides including the fat cap. Add the onions and bell pepper and continue to cook until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and cilantro to the pot. Add another 2 cups of orange juice to deglaze the pot. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the roast fat-side-up on top of the vegetables; cover and roast for 2 hours. Uncover and roast for 1 hour longer until the fat cap browns, and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170ºF, or until fork tender. Remove the pork roast from the pot and place on a platter to rest covered with foil. Reserve the cooking liquid for later use.
- In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and whisk until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Move the pork to a cutting board and shred. Place the pork in a mixing bowl and moisten with 1 cup of cooking liquid from the pot along with the lime juice. In each plate, add 2 tortillas along with a portion of pulled pork. Garnish with red onion, cilantro, and salsa. Add a drizzle (I use a squeeze bottle) of the Creole Crema on top. Serve with sliced jalapeño, sweet peppers, sliced avocado, cheese, and lime wedges on the side, along with more of the crema.
YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE: If you like this Cajun cooking story and Cajun recipe then accept my personal invitation to subscribe by entering your email at the bottom or top right of this page. It’s quick, painless, and FREE. You will receive an email alert and be the first to see when new Cajun cooking stories and Cajun recipes are added. Thanks, George.