Smoked Pork Tacos with Bar-b-que Achiote Sauce

  • Prep Time
    1 hour
  • Cook Time
    All Day
  • Serving
  • View

I was going to smoke a pork shoulder for pulled pork sandwiches, but it was Cinqo de Mayo, so I decided to go Mexican.  I can’t say I followed any particular recipe, but I was greatly inspired by Rick Martinez’ Mi Cocina (2022) and in particular his recipe for Cochinita Pibil which introduced me to Achiote paste or Recado Rojo. I found a jar of Achiote Sauce at Fresh Market and decided to add a little bit to the bar-b-que sauce I had planned to use on my pulled pork sandwiches  The sauce was spot-on.  Use the Achiote sauce sparingly, but it adds a lovely warm earthiness and spice to the pork. I actually took some sauce, mixed it with sour cream and schmeared that on the bottom of the warm tortilla.  When I smoked the pork, I ADDED a packet of Carnitas seasoning to my usual bar-b-que rub on the pork shoulder. I used hickory as opposed to mesquite for my smoke.  The pork was tender with just the right amount of burnt parts. The cabbage on bottom of the taco and chunky salsa on top were delicious. I layered the cabbage, cilantro, pork, salsa, cotija cheese (and more sour cream, I admit) to build the taco.  I hunched over these tacos like Guy Fieri in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.  Have plenty of napkins and a good margarita on hand for this endeavor.  It really is an all day project and well worth the effort.


Smoked Pork



Toppings for Taco


    Make the Salsa by mixing all ingredients, tasting a lot, and then stashing in the frig while you smoke the pork.

    Step 1

    Prepare the pork shoulder. See recipe on this site for pulled pork. Rub the pork with mustard and the spices, and let it come to room temperature. Smoke at 225 degrees for 6 or 7 hours. I used hickory chips for smoke, adding a couple handsful just about 10 minutes before I put on the roast.

    Step 2

    Shred the pork,or chop it roughly and place it in a casserole. You could mix the Bar-b-que and Achiote sauces in a small bowl and then pour it over the pork. Use the Achiote sauce sparingly. In fact, mix it in a few TBS. at a time and taste it because it has a strong taste. Make sure the pork is coated in the sauce quite heavily.

    Step 3

    Heat the pork and sauce in a 350 degrees oven for about 15 minutes.

    Step 4

    Heat the tortillas.

    Step 5

    Make the tacos: Smear the bottom of the tortilla with some sauce and some sour cream. Put some shredded cabbage and cilantro on the top of the sauce. Pile the pork on next. Maybe a little more sauce. Salsa next. After that, crumbled Cotija cheese goes over the top of it, and a dollop of sour cream if you feel like it.

    Step 6

    Serve the tacos with lime wedges, radishes, grilled sweet peppers, etc. Have plenty of napkins on hand! Enjoy with a cold beer or margarita.

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