Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Taco Salad Bowls
- Pulled Pork:
- 1 (4 to 5 pound) pork shoulder
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup Chinese black vinegar
- Pipián Verde:
- 8 ounces tomatillos, quartered
- ¼ yellow onion, quartered
- ½ jalapeno, halved
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles
- ½ (packed) cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- Taco Salad Bowl:
- 2 hearts of romaine, chopped
- 4 ounces queso blanco, crumbled
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, quartered
For best results, we recommend using:
- Trim pork butt of hard fat or any skin on the outside, keeping the soft marbling fat in tact, that is found mostly on the inside. Rub all sides with salt and pepper.
- Put onion, garlic, and bay leaf into a slow cooker.
- Heat canola in a wide skillet over medium-high. Brown pork in hot oil, 3 to 4 minutes per side; remove from skillet, retaining drippings in the pan, and place onto onions in slow cooker.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Whisk 2 cups broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, and vinegar together in a bowl and pour into the pan; bring to a simmer, scraping brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour drippings into the slow cooker.
- Cook on low until pork is tender enough to shred easily with a fork, 8 to 9 hours.
- Transfer pork to a large bowl. Use a pair of tongs or two forks to shred the meat.
- Remove two cups of liquid from the slow cooker to a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until liquid reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes; add to shredded pork and season with salt and pepper.
- When the pork has less than an hour to completion, preheat oven to 450°(235°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
- Toss onion, jalapeno, tomatillos, and garlic with olive oil in a bowl to coat; season with salt. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast in preheated oven until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer tomatillo mixture to a blender; add chicken stock, green chilis, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds. Blend mixture until smooth.
- Pour blended mixture into a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Season the pipián with salt.
- Divide romaine lettuce among four serving bowls; top each with ¾ cup shredded pork, a couple spoonfuls of pipián verde, and small handful of queso and radish slices. Garnish with lime quarters to serve.
Add black beans or more crunchy vegetables like shredded cabbage to the salad. You could top the finished bowl with a fried egg. If unable to find the black vinegar at your local Asian market or online, you can substitute apple cider vinegar. If you are sensitive to spiciness, deseed the jalapeno pepper before using.
What others are saying
Greg Jones says:
This taco salad bowl was really good. Instead of pumpkin seeds I added tortilla chip crumbles for some crunch. The meat was really tender and had great flavor, thanks to the slow cooker.
Laura Griffin says:
This taco salad bowl was amazing! Way better than anything you would get from a restaurant or fast food joint. Wholesome food, delicious flavor, hearty. Nothing but good things to say about this recipe. My new favorite!