PULLED PORK TACOS with Tangy Cashew Cream + How to Make Corn Tortillas

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Pulled Pork Tacos w/ Tangy Cashew Cream

This tender and succulent pork is the perfect introduction to cooking pork belly as you can't really get it wrong. I have included a slow-cooker and oven method below. Choose free-range meat where possible, I source my free-range pork from our local butcher Philippe so I can skip the packaging.

Ingredients

Pulled Pork

  • approx. 750g free-range pork belly fat scored
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup cashews soaked for minimum 2 hours
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup water + extra if needed to thin

To serve

  • soft corn tortillas or small wheat tortillas
  • red cabbage slaw - massage 1/2 tsp salt into shredded red cabbage for several minutes then dress with olive oil and lemon juice
  • cashew cream/ sour cream
  • Chopped coriander
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  • Preheat a slow-cooker on LOW* or oven 160C. Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan then grind them roughly in a mortar and pestle. Add the paprika, oregano, salt and olive oil and make paste. Rub this over the skin side of the pork belly. Wrap snugly in a layer of baking paper and then foil. Place the pork into the slow cooker or in a tray in the oven. Cook for 4 hours. Remove the pork parcel from the slow-cooker/oven and sit for 10 minutes. Open the package and pour off the juices into a jug - these are delicious added to a lentil soup. Use 2 forks to 'pull' the succulent pork apart into threads. Serve as pictured, layering red cabbage slaw, pulled pork and cashew cream into soft tacos and garnish with coriander. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime.
  • Cashew Cream: Drain and rinse the cashews and place in a food processor/ blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend for several minutes until a thick cream is achieved, adding extra water if needed to thin.

Notes

*Our slow-cooker [Zip brand] runs particularly hot so if you have a true 'slow' cooker then setting to HIGH may be necessary or cooking for 6 hours.

How to make Tortillas

You will need:

2 cups masa harina – this is a traditional Mexican corn flour treated with lime, available from most supermarkets or Tio Pablo
1 1/2 cups cold water
pinch of salt
tortilla press or chopping board
baking paper
rolling-pin

In a bowl combine the masa harina, water and salt and knead with your hands in the bowl to create a smooth dough. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

Break the dough into 12 even-sized balls. Take one ball and flatten with your palm them place between baking paper. Use a tortilla press to press down firmly several times until flat. Or use a chopping board and put all your weight into squashing as thin as possible. I like to then finish off with a rolling-pin – keep the tortilla between the baking paper – to make them nice and thin, about 1mm think and 12cm round.

Heat a cast-iron or heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat. Cook the tortillas for 1-2 minutes on each side until just starting to colour. Wrap in a slightly damp tea towel to keep them warm and the steam from the damp tea towel helps to keep them soft for serving. Store any leftover tortillas in a ziplock bag in the fridge and simply heat in a dry frying-pan as needed.


A weekly meal plan has become an essential part of family life. Although I don’t write down a physical list every week I certainly have a plan in my head for the coming week. Monday night is ‘Daddy’ makes dinner night and then generally the rest of the week is my domain. Before children I would have never had a meal plan as I loved the creativity of cooking a meal at the end of the day with what we had on hand. And it wasn’t really until our second child arrived, dairy allergy in tow, that I actually put pen to paper to write a weekly plan. I can plan the shopping, soak beans/ lentils ahead of time and defrost meat as needed. It really makes life easier for this busy Mama.

I also like to look at the meal plan as a way to balance our meals throughout the week. Instead of serving meat or eggs 3 nights in a row I like to mix it up, one night beans, one night fish, one night lentils, one night eggs. You get the drift. I like to base 3-4 of our weekly meals around vege-based dishes which can require a little pre-thought with soaking beans/ lentils etc. Particularly as I prefer to digest my beans comfortably rather than explosively. I will write a future blog post about correctly cooking legumes, however this week I am sharing one of our favourite weekly dinners. Infused with the subtle [not spicy] flavours of Mexican cuisine this simple pulled pork is easy to prepare and pulls apart like a dream. I use a slow-cooker rather than an oven – although you can use an oven, directions below – as it is way more efficient than heating the whole oven for 4 hours. I think a little bit of my Dutch heritage rubbed off here 😉

You are probably familiar with the crunchy taco shells from the supermarket. Soft corn tacos are a whole other experience and by far my favourite way to go Mexican. And they are really easy to make at home. I make a batch most weeks that will last us several meals and can also be used to make quesadillas – kinda like a gluten-free toastie sandwich. To make my soft corn tortillas I use a traditional tortilla press. No tortilla press? Didn’t think so. Not a problem, they can also be made by squashing a ball of tortilla mix with a chopping board followed by a couple rolls with a rolling-pin. This is how they made them in Colombia when we visited family last year and I learned how to make Arepas – a Colombian style corn and cheese tortilla. You can check out the Arepas recipe and some images from our Santa Marta trip HERE plus Cacao Chilli beans HERE.

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

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  1. I’ve just written a blog post about food preparation being the key to healthy eating! I love the look of these taco’s! Would you find the masa harina in the flour section of the supermarket? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before!

    1. Hi Amanda, I get it in a 5kg bag direct from Tio Pablo as it works out the most economical and stores well in a pantry otherwise I have seen it in the ‘ethnic’ or specialty food section of the supermarket with the other Mexican products.

  2. Love these tacos, the cashew cream sounds amazing! Great pictures!

    1. Thanks Cheri, the cashew cream is something special. Enjoy!

  3. Hi Nicola – a friend made pulled pork sandwiches in the weekend for a big working bee, along with a lovely slaw. She actually cooked a pork leg in a roasting dish covered in foil in a very slow oven overnight (it was for a big team!) but I thought that probably a lot of added goodness would have come from having the pork bone in there making a bit of a bone broth. It was absolute moreish and great for a crowd. Thanks for the recipe inspiration!

    1. Hi Nicky, traditionally pulled pork is made from a Pork leg or shoulder and cooks for a very long time. I am sure the bone imparts amazing flavour too. This is like a smaller version to feed a family for a meal or two but the same flavours and cooking could be used if you have a larger cut of pork. It can also be used for beef and chicken. Nice to hear from you 🙂

  4. hi Nicola – would you be willing to share some weekly meal plans for those of us who are less organised and inspired?

    1. Hi Lucy, will see what I can come up with. I am not sure if you have Feeding Little Tummies but I have a meal plan from this I can email you if you want. Or it may even give you some ideas even if you don’t have the book. Flick me an email and will send it through. And anyone else out there reading this, happy to share the love.

    2. Hi Lucy (& Nicola),

      I have just started meal planning myself, and have popped a couple of weeks worth up on my blog:
      http://www.tofindasilverlining.co.nz

      The first week has links to all the recipes that I used, the second post (just gone up tonight) has recipes taken from my recipe books. Currently I am only doing dinners, but am hoping to get into including other meals and snacks as well. Be aware though, we are an allergy-family (gluten and dairy being the main issues), so all my recipes have to work around these restrictions.

      I am planning on doing a post this week (hopefully) on how I am going about meal planning – have only just started, so I am sure over time it will be refined; but for now I thought it might be useful for others, who like me, have struggled to be so organised!

      1. Thanks Elizabeth for sharing the link. I am sure others will find this helpful 🙂

  5. Look at these! I’ve been obsessed with tacos ever since coming back from Los Angeles, so now I’m collecting all the recipes I can find. I’d love to try making my own tortillas! But I would love to try the flour version. Not a fan of corn.

    Tacos are perfect when meal planning. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    1. Yes they make fabulous tacos in LA. The corn tortillas are amazingly not very corn tasting using masa harina. Enjoy!

  6. Hi Nicola,
    So this recipe, doesn’t require any water or anything in the slow-cooker (with the pork)? It feels so weird putting nothing else in there 🙂

    1. Yes that is correct Kelly, the slow cooking of the meat results in it’s own juices and wrapped snugly it is perfectly happy in the slow-cooker. Enjoy!

      1. It’s in there now and already smelling drool-worthy amazing … Excited!

  7. Oh lovely now I am dreaming of pulled pork for dinner too!

  8. Yum looks amazing. I’ve got a pork belly from my mother in law in the freezer and some tio pablo corn tortillas in the pantry so this will be dinner in a couple of nights. Thanks for the recipe inspiration

    1. Enjoy Nicola! It is such a yummo dinner.

  9. Sounds absolutely amazing. Sam and I are big advocates for the authentic Mexican tortillas so is great to see you do it too! Definitely have to give this recipe a go 🙂

    1. Thanks Maddy, I had an email from Sam so I know you will be trying this very soon! I was put of Mexican for so long until I tried the real deal, so good! Nice to hear from you xx

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