Achiote Shredded Pork Tacos is a beautifully savory dish where a pork shoulder is flavored with achiote paste and lime juice and slow cooked. Achiote turns this everyday pork roast into a fiesta. Try this Rick Bayless Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Tacos Recipe, it’s feeds a crowd, so great for your next party.
I’m a huge Rick Bayless fan and a big fan of real Mexican Food. By real Mexican food I mean authentic dishes from south of the border as opposed to our Americanized versions of dishes we call “Mexican Food” or Tex Mex.
I was browsing through his cookbooks last Saturday and this jumped right off the page and right onto my dinner table. And I’m here to day, this pork is simply delicious.
Rick tells us in the introduction to this recipe that this type pork recipe would normally be served at a large celebration using a slow pit roasted whole pig.
Since most of us don’t have pits in our back yards, Rick assures us a slow cooker or dutch oven and a bone-in pork roast will deliver much of the same flavors.
It’s just up to us to provide the celebration.
What is Achiote Paste?
The major flavor to this dish is Achiote. Achiote paste is a spice used in cuisine in Mexico and South America. The paste is clay red in color and clay-like in texture. It does turn your fingers red when you crumble the paste.
It’s made of crushed achiote seed, vinegar, salt, garlic and spices and is typically formed into a small block. The achiote paste is then diluted and added to stews or used as a rub for meats. It adds a salty and bittersweet tangy flavor. It is a traditional ingredient used to make Ricado, a rub for suckling pig and other meats.
You can also purchase Achiote Powder, which is a pure dry powder product, without the added ingredients. It’s commonly used for rubs.
For this dish, I’ve diluted the paste in fresh lime juice.
I lined a Dutch oven with banana leaves. You can also use a crock pot and make slow cooker pork tacos. Make sure you place the banana leaves so that you can fold them over to surround your pork roast.
Pour the diluted achiote paste seasoning over the roast, top with rings of sliced onions and pour a little bit of water on the sides of the roast. Fold the banana leaves over to surround the meat and onions.
Put the lid on and slow roast the meat either 6 hours on high in a crock pot, or 3 hours in the oven at 300 degrees. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, shred and serve with fresh limes. Easy and simple.
How To Serve Shredded Pork Tacos
Serve these shredded pork tacos on soft white corn tortillas. Warm the tortillas, lay some of the tender pork on top. If you’d like to drizzle with salsa, This Homemade Roasted Tomatillo Salsa is a great choice. A wedge of avocado is always nice.
You can also use white flour tortillas, either street taco size or regular small burrito size works well here.
A simple dollop of Mexican Crema is delicious. Make these shredded pork tacos your own, roll them up and enjoy.
Serve these shredded pork tacos with Roasted Fresh Chili Salsa, some good quality warm corn tortillas and a fresh green salad and you’ve got a beautiful and delicious meal.
Recipe for Achiote Shredded Pork Tacos
I hope you give this recipe for Shredded Pork Tacos a try. A Mexican version of BBQ pulled pork tacos, you’ll want to serve this over and over. The flavor and the ease is very inticing.
I don’t always have banana leaves on hand for this recipe and have made it many times with out using them to wrap.
I can’t wait to serve this at my next dinner party. Rick Bayless has done it again! And serving this with a traditional Mexican Christmas Salad would be a wonderful combo.
And if you love Southwestern braised pork recipes, you won’t want to miss this one for New Mexico’s most celebrated dish of Carne Adovada. Tender pork roast cooked in a luscious red chile sauce.
Or this one for Filipino Pork Adobo. Simmered in soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and pineapple. A real treat.
And more pork taco recipes? Take a look at this one for Tacos al Pastor.
Achiote Pulled Pork Tacos
- 2 ounces achiote paste
- 1 teaspoon New Mexico Chimayo Chile Powder or ancho chile powder
- 3/4 Cup lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
- Banana leaves
- 3 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
- 1 large onion white or yellow, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 Cup roasted fresh chile salsa
- Place the achiote seasoning in a small bowl. Pour in 1/2 C. of the lime juice and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the Chimayo or Ancho Chile powder. Use a fork to work the mixture into a smooth thickish marinade.
- Line your slow cooker with banana leaves. Lay in the pork and pour the marinade over and around the meat.
- Scatter the white onion over the meat.
- Pour 1/2 C. water around the meat and sprinkle the top of the meat with the remaining salt.
- Fold banana leaves to roughly cover everything.
- Cover and slow-cook on high for 6 hours, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. If you roast this in the oven, 300 degrees for 3 hours.
- While the meat is cooking, combine the red onion with remaining 1/4 cup lime juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set aside to marinate, stirring from time to time..
- Use tongs to transfer the meat and onions to a cutting board. With forks, shred pork. Spoon off any rendered fat that's floating in the juices.
- Ladle the brothy sauce into a large saucepan or fry pan and boil it down to about half. Add the shredded meat to the sauce and toss well. Top with the lime-marinated red onions and serve with the salsa and warm corn tortillas.
Rick Bayless Achiote Shredded Pork Tacos …It’s What’s For Dinner
This is a great recipe, I have been using Rick Bayless recipes for almost twenty years now.
I always adjust recipes to our taste and his always come out really good.
With this recipe I add a few garlic cloves to the marinade. I also bake it covered with homemade chicken stock without the banana leaves.
After it bakes I shred it and then sear it with some chopped onions, minced garlic and a little of the broth that it bakes in. We like the pork a little crispy for our tacos so it’s like a combination of this recipe and carnitas.
This is straight from taco heaven! Just want to grab one and start eating. I’ve never worked with achiote paste before so I’m excited about discovering a new ingredient. Just added it to my Mexican mercado list. Can’t wait to try these.