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Shredded Pork Soft Tacos

Serves: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 pound) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved through root end, plus 1 onion chopped fine for serving
  • 1 tablespoon minced, canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Thinly sliced radishes


Procedures:

Weeknight tacos are usually limited to quick-cooking fillings like ground beef, but the pressure cooker makes pork butt—which would take hours in the oven—an option.

  • Total Cooking Time: About 1-¼ hours, 25 minutes under pressure
  • Pressure Level: High
  • Release: Natural


Weeknight tacos are usually limited to quick-cooking fillings like ground beef, but the pressure cooker makes pork butt—which would take hours in the oven—an option. We combined pork with orange juice, chipotle, cumin and oregano. After 25 minutes under pressure, the pork was fall-apart tender and flavorful. Then we reduced the braising liquid for more depth. Refining the liquid’s flavors with a little sugar and some lime juice at the end completed the dish. Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket.

High pressure for 25 minutes: Combine pork, water, onion halves, chipotle, oregano, sugar, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and bay leaves in pressure-cooker pot. Juice orange into bowl and remove seeds. Add juice from orange halves into pot, then add spent halves. Lock pressure-cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.

Naturally release pressure: Remove pot from heat and allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.

Before serving: Remove onion halves, orange halves and bay leaves from cooking liquid. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of sauce. Bring pork to simmer and cook, breaking up meat into bite-size pieces with wooden spoon, until cooking liquid has thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture on warmed tortillas and serve (wrap tortillas in aluminum foil or a clean dish towel to keep them warm and soft before serving).

Troubleshooting:

Can I use another cut of pork?: Yes, you can substitute boneless country-style pork ribs; reduce the pressurized cooking time to 15 minutes. Note that this cut won’t shred as well as the pork butt.

Do I need to alter the recipe for a 6-quart electric pressure cooker?: Yes, turn the cooker off immediately after the pressurized cooking time and let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Do not let the cooker switch to the warm setting. Increase the simmering time to 30 minutes and use the browning (not the simmer) setting.

Alternate recipe:

Shredded Chicken Soft Tacos

Substitute 4 (12-ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed, for pork. Reduce pressurized cooking time to 15 minutes and use quick-release method.

After removing onion, orange and bay leaves from pot in step 3, transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, and shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Meanwhile, simmer cooking liquid until thickened, about 10 minutes. Return shredded chicken to pot with lime juice and let heat through before serving.

Recipe developed for Fagor, by America’s TEST KITCHEN

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