Pork Shoulder Tacos

Pork Shoulder Tacos

Pork shoulder marinated in Chipotle, served with carrot and apple salad, pork crackling and yuzu kosho salsa.

A simple taco recipe inspired by my trip to Mexico with a twist showcasing some great ingredients from Japan. Perfect for sharing amongst friends and family. This can also be made ahead in time for dinner parties, serve alongside some sparkling sake for the ultimate experience.


Pork Shoulder:

  • 8kg Bone – In Pork shoulder (with skin if you want to make the pork crackling)
  • 170g of chipotles in adobo (you should find this in most major supermarkets)
  • 4 roughly chopped red chillies, de-stemmed
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced (Choose a sweet and sour variety)
  • 50ml transparent soy
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 5-10 black peppercorns
  • Zest of a lime
  • Smoked Tamari Soy Sauce to taste

Carrot & Apple Salad

  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Apples
  • A bunch of coriander
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

To serve


Pork Shoulder:

  1. To make the marinade, in a blender, add your chipotle, red chillies, apples and transparent soy sauce. Blend to a paste and set aside. Tip: why not add your transparent soy into the emptied jar of chipotle and give it a shake. This way you can get all the leftover chipotle sauce in the jar to avoid any waste!
  1. De-skin your pork shoulder (You can ask your butcher to do this for you if it’s easier). Use a sharp knife and simply slice underneath the skin from right to left (if right-handed). Using small slicing movements to make more accurate cuts, preferably, you want as much fat left on the pork shoulder as possible as this will give better flavour and texture for your finished product.
  1. In a re-sealable bag (or a large bowl), add your pork shoulder and the blended marinade. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Give the whole thing a massage to make sure the pork shoulder is well coated with the marinade. Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  1. To cook the pork shoulder, add all the marinade and the marinated pork shoulder into a pressure cooker. Add a dash of water, roughly so the pork shoulder is submerged half-way. Add your bay leaf and pepper corns, close the lid and cook for 35 minutes at a high pressure. (Alternative cooking method, check below)
  1. After 35 minutes, check if your pork shoulder is soft enough or falling off the bone. If not, you can cook it for a further 10 minutes at high pressure.
  1. Remove the pork shoulder from the liquid then reduce the liquid at a high heat on the stove until thickens. This will concentrate the flavour of the stock. This can then be used as a dipping sauce at the end.
  1. Shred your pork shoulder and add the zest of a lime and use smoked soy to season instead of salt. This will enhance the smokiness of the dish also compliments the smoky flavour from the chipotle.

Carrot and Apple salad:

  1. Peel and julienne your carrots and apples. You can also use a grater instead of slicing if you are not comfortable using a knife.
  2. In a bowl, add your sliced or grated carrots and apples. Add the juice and zest of a lime and add the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let the acid and salt break down the carrots and apples. This will give the dish a less harsh texture and bring out the sweetness in both ingredients.
  3. Roughly chop your coriander and add to the bowl. Mix well

To serve:

  1. Tacos is a great dish that can be shared amongst people. So, the easiest way to serve this is to place all the components in the middle of the table for people to assemble them whichever way they prefer.
  2. Use the yuzu kosho sauce straight from the bottle for added heat and acidity. This can also be diluted down by blending it with some avocado and coriander to create a green salsa.
  3. (Optional) Add some chopped pork crackling for an extra crunch and umami. The recipe can be found here.
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