September 8, 2016

Agave-Braised Pork Shoulder Tacos

Recipe: Kristen Eppich



  • 2 kg boneless pork shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped poblano peppers
  • 3⁄4 cup chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 3 dried ancho or guajillo peppers, about 25 g
  • 1⁄4 cup agave syrup
  • 2 bay leaves

Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3⁄4 cup water
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 black pepper corns
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced


  • 1⁄2 cup organic sour cream, at room temperature, or plain yogurt
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 16 corn tortillas (recipe here)
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish


Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Cook Pork 

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Heat a 4- or 5-quart heavy-gauge, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Season pork well with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp oil to pot, then add pork. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove pork, place on platter and reserve.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 tbsp oil to pot. Add onions and peppers and cook 4 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Add garlic, coriander, cumin and cinnamon and cook 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add 3 cups stock or water and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot. Break dried peppers in half and shake out and discard seeds. Stir dried peppers, agave and bay leaves into pot. Return pork to pot. If needed, top up with enough stock or water to reach 3⁄4 up side of pork. Return to boil. Cover with foil to keep in moisture and top with tight-fitting lid.
  5. Bake for 3 1⁄2 to 4 hours, or until very tender.
  6. Remove from oven and remove lid. Let meat cool to room temperature in pot. Remove meat and place on platter. Skim any fat off top of remaining sauce. If sauce is too thin, bring to boil and cook until thick and glossy. Shred meat with two forks, then stir into sauce. (If making pork a day ahead, refrigerate cooled pork in sauce and scrape off solid fat following day. Shred meat and return to sauce to reheat.)

Prepare Pickled Onions

  1. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds and peppercorns in small, nonreactive saucepan over high heat. Stir until mixture comes to simmer and sugar and salt have dissolved.
  2. Place onions in medium bowl or canning jar. Pour hot vinegar mixture over onions and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate up to two weeks.

Make Crema

  1. Stir sour cream with heavy cream in medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature 6 to 8 hours, or overnight, until mixture has thickened and flavours have developed. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until thicker. Return to room temperature for serving.

Assemble Tacos

  1. Load cooked corn tortillas with pork, drizzle with crema and garnish with pickled onions and fresh cilantro.

Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott


House & Home June 2016


Stacey Smithers

Tags: Recipe Tacos