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Cooking with Fire

Cooking With Fire: Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos With BBQ Pineapple Slaw

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Chef Tom Jackson / All Things Barbecue
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Like many of you, I have been doing my best to stay home and distance myself from the outside world as much as possible these past few weeks.

During this time I’ve had to adjust not only my schedule but my entire way of thinking about how I work.

With two young children at home all day now, and a wife who works in the medical field, I’ve taken on a lot more responsibility around the house.

I’ve always done a lot of the cooking, but now I’m cooking three meals a day. And much to my surprise, I have found this time to be a good break from the stress of living life in a single place.

And what have I been cooking? Well, lots and lots of Mexican dishes. My favorite of which has been Chef Tom’s smoked pulled pork tacos with barbecue pineapple slaw.

This recipe was one of the dishes that Chef Tom cooked at this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, and as with everything he creates, they are amazing.

Now, these tacos are slightly more work than a standard weeknight dinner, but not in an inaccessible way. The smoked pulled pork takes some time, but it's not active time. Besides, if you are finding yourself with extra time at home, I challenge you to pick up a few extra ingredients and dive into making a dish the whole family will love. Because nothing passes the time better than sitting down with family to a home-cooked meal.

Here's the recipe for Chef Tom’s amazing smoked pulled pork tacos. And check back in with us in two weeks, because we'll be tackling some pantry cooking.

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Credit Chef Tom Jackson / All Things Barbecue
Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos with BBQ Pineapple Slaw, one of the dished Chef Tom Jackson prepared at this year's South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos with BBQ Pineapple Slaw

For the taco seasoning:

  • 3 tbsp whole toasted cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf

 

  • 8 lb Boston butt pork shoulder
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • Small flour tortillas
  • Pepper jack cheese, grated
  • Pickled jalapeños, sliced
  • Tangy BBQ Sauce
  • Sour cream

 For the Pineapple Slaw:

  • 1 (2 lb) head red and green cabbage, cored, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded 
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 tbsp Tangy BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp Honey mustard
  • Smoked salt, as needed

 Instructions 

  1. To make the slaw, combine the cabbage and carrots in a bowl with the sugar. Massage the sugar into the veggies. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Preheat your smoker to 275ºF.
  3. To make the taco seasoning, combine all ingredients in a spice grinder, and grind until broken down into a powder.
  4. Rub the surface of the pork butt with a thin layer of binder (oil, hot sauce, mustard, etc.). Season all surfaces with the taco seasoning.
  5. Smoke the pork butt until a dark mahogany bark is formed on the surface, about 4-5 hours. The internal temperature will be around 165ºF. 
  6. Remove the pork from the smoker and place on top of two large sheets of heavy duty foil. Pour the pineapple juice over the pork, then wrap tightly in the foil.
  7. Return the pork to the smoker and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches about 210ºF. The blade bone should pull right out with little resistance, and the pork should easily shred apart.
  8. Place your flour tortillas on a hot griddle. Immediately top the tortillas with the pepper jack cheese to begin melting the cheese. Warm the pulled pork on the griddle surface. 
  9. To build the tacos, add the pork to the cheese and tortilla. Top with pickled jalapeños, BBQ sauce and sour cream. Serve with the BBQ Pineapple Slaw.