Braised Carnitas Pork Tacos topped with Sriracha Aioli
Cinco de Mayo has long been one of my favorite food-filled holidays. Who doesn’t love an excuse to drink margaritas and dig into a bowl of guacamole? For this year’s fiesta, I’m heating things up with hot and spicy Carnitas Pork Tacos and a sizzling manicure to match.
Braised in a spicy and savory blend of lager beer, apple cider vinegar, freshly squeezed lime and chipotle chilies, this shredded pork comes out fiery and packed with authentic flavor. The meat is then shredded, spread out on a baking sheet and thrown under the broiler until it develops that great crispy crust we all know and love.
When making carnitas, it helps to brown the meat on all sides before adding to the slow cooker. This added step will give the pork an amazing color and caramelized crust. Place the browned pork into your crock pot, completely cover with the lager beer blend and let it cook low and slow for 8 hours until the meat is fall-apart tender.
To ensure your tacos are party ready, you can easily prep everything the night before then add the ingredients to the slow cooker right before leaving for work. When you get home, you’ll have the most tender and juicy pulled pork ready for serving. All you'll need to do next is break out the fixings! For an unlikely but necessary addition, combine creamy mayonnaise, spicy sriracha and fresh lime juice for an aioli that will not disappoint.
To assemble the tacos, add a few spoonfuls of the carnitas to a corn tortilla then top with fresh salsa, avocado, crumbled cojita cheese and a healthy hit of the sriracha aioli for a bite bursting with flavor. Now break out your slow cooker and OPI’s Hot & Spicy laquer for a dish and manicure sure to add undeniable heat to your Cinco de Mayo party and look!
Kelly Artz is a New York City-based food blogger at Big City, Tiny Kitchen. As a food enthusiast and self-taught home cook, she created Big City, Tiny Kitchen to share her simple, fresh and sophisticated meals all cooked right in her tiny apartment.
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 lager beer
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2-3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced
- ½ cup mayo
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
- corn tortillas
- onion, chopped
- tomatoes, chopped
- avocado, diced
- cojita cheese (or other crumbly cheese)
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Season the pork with salt, pepper and the cumin all over and sear on each side until browned (about 1-2 minutes per side). Transfer pork to the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, and give the mixture a stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours until the pork is completely tender and shreds easily with a fork.
Once the pork is cooked, preheat your broiler to high heat and prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Use a fork to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, and then using a slotted spoon transfer it to the prepared baking sheet, spreading the pork in an even layer. Place the sheet under the broiler for a few minutes until the edges of the pork begin browning and crisping up.
To assemble, spoon the pork carnita meat onto a corn tortilla then top with chopped tomato, diced onion, avocado, crumbled cojita cheese, cilantro and sriracha aioli.
To make the sriracha aioli mix the mayo, lime juice and hot sauce in a bowl then drizzle on top of the tacos.