Beer Braised Pork Tacos
These tacos have it all: Gloriously rich and flavorful meat stuffed into corn tortillas, then dipped in spiced pork fat and pan-fried until crisp. And the most mouthwatering part—the gooey Cabot cheese that melts out of the edges of the tacos and browns in the pan. Traditionally, it takes hours to cook the meat until tender, but a pressure cooker or Instant Pot shaves hours off the total cook time so you can enjoy tacos sooner.
Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 30
*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional
- 3½ to 4 pounds pork butt, cut into 3” cubes
- ¼ cup chile powder (guajillo, New Mexico, California, or ancho)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon whole or ground cumin seed
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove or 2 whole cloves
- 2 white onions, divided
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- One 12-ounce can SeaQuench Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, chopped finely
- 3 limes, divided
- 16 to 18 large corn tortillas
- 2 cups Cabot Brand shredded Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
- Cook the Pork: Using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, Add the meat along with the chile powders, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and clove. Toss the meat with the spices to coat evenly.
- Peel and quarter 1 white onion and add to the pot, then add the garlic, vinegar, and beer. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes. Let the steam release naturally when finished while you prepare the garnishes.
- Make the onion-cilantro garnish: Halve, peel, and dice the remaining 1 white onion into ½” pieces. Add the onion to a mixing bowl then add the chopped cilantro, the juice of 2 limes, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine, then let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
- Shred the Pork: Transfer the pork from the pot to a cutting board, then chop the pork up into small pieces. Transfer to a bowl or large plate and set aside.
- Carefully skim the fat from the top of the pork cooking liquid and place in a bowl. This is what you will use to dip the tortillas in to give them their characteristic red color. Keep the pork stock, or consomme, warm while you assemble the tacos.
- Assemble the Tacos: Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Dip 1 tortilla at a time into the reserved fat, then place on the skillet. Fry each side of the tortilla for about 30 seconds each, then transfer to a plate.
- Place a couple tablespoons of shredded Cabot brand cheese one one half of the tortilla, then place a generous amount of shredded pork on top of the cheese.
- Put the tacos back in the hot skillet and continue cooking until the taco is crisp and golden, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. You can use a spatula to press the tacos and keep them closed while cooking.
- To serve: Cut the remaining 1 lime into small wedges. Ladle the pork consomme into small bowls, then add the crispy tacos to a plate. Top the tacos with a few spoonfuls of the onion-cilantro garnish and a squeeze of lime, then dip the tacos in the consomme while eating.