A simple, flavorful recipe for Five Spice Pulled Pork Tacos with fresh, Carrot Cabbage Slaw and Spicy Aioli inspired by ingredients from my CSA. The pork (or beef) can be roasted in the oven low and slow for about 6 hours on a lazy Sunday, or cooked in a slow cooker during the workweek — a quick and easy weeknight meal. When it’s done, the meat is meltingly tender with a surprising exotic flavor from the five spice. Together with the fresh and crunchy Asian Slaw and the creamy Sriracha-spiked aioli, it makes for the perfect taco. And the leftovers make great tacos too. (For non-pork eaters, feel free to substitute a beef roast. )
I have to tell you… I’ve been loving this summer. I don’t want to jinx it – but it almost seems a little too easy and too luxurious. Bike riding, kayaking, hiking, lake time – we cut back on the amount of wedding catering we took on this year, limiting ourselves to only one wedding per weekend, and oh my, this working less… has been glorious. I feel like myself again, more balanced, so much healthier on the inside, compared to last summer. Do you ever ask yourself when looking back on your life, What was I thinking? It’s a reoccurring question for me…it’s been such a journey. But I guess it takes the journey and all the missteps and repeated mistakes along the way, to learn what it is we need to learn, doesn’t it?
I’ve been a painfully slow learner, going down the same dead-end road, countless of times, thinking somehow, this time will be different, but no, it never is, is it. It’s the same dead-end it has always been, until you take a step in another direction. Which is actually scarier than going down the same old dead-end road, because, at least you already know what’s at the end of that very unsatisfying, unfulfilling, dead-end road, and who knows what’s in the other unknown uncharted direction. By now the dead-end feels almost comfortable. The question then becomes, do I want a comfortable, numb and unfulfilled life ….or do I want a fuller, bigger life knowing full and well, that I will have to tolerate the anxiety that inevitably comes when choosing a new and different direction. And if I chose the later, what would that look like and how would that happen? Perhaps it starts with just imagining it’s actually possible. Then trusting that we’re strong enough to handle the anxiety of the unknown. Because we are. We don’t like to, but we are capable of it.
Then trusting the unknown itself.
For this recipe Use a boneless 3 ½ pound pork roast. You can substitute an equivalent Beef roast. Coat with rub and let sit two hours or overnight in the fridge.
In the morning, place it in a warm oven, or a slow cooker and let the delicious aromas fill your house.
When the roast is done, the edges will be crispy and the meat ….oh so tender. Shred with two forks and stir in a little vinegar. Voila.
If you like your meat extra crispy, you could give it a quick stir fry in a cast iron skillet.
Top with slaw, sauce and serve with lime, avocado and cilantro.
Please tell us how you liked the recipe ….and any changes or alterations you made. Thanks and looking forward to feedback! Have a beautiful week.
- Pulled Pork
- ⅛ cup salt
- ⅛ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Five spice (use store bought or see recipe below)
- 3.5 pound boneless pork shoulder ( or substitute beef roast)
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- Cabbage Carrot Slaw
- 3 cups cabbage, shredded or finely sliced
- 1 cup carrots- shredded
- ¼ cup red onions sliced thin or 3 scallions, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, mint or thai basil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice,
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Spicy Sauce
- ½ cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- Serve with warm or toasted corn/flower tortillas, pickled onions, cilantro, lime, avocado slices ( optional)
- FIVE SPICE SEASONING
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon ground star anise
- 1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground ( or sub regular peppercorns, although szechwan is more authentic)
- Mix salt, sugar and 5 spice together. Coat all sides of the Pork roast well, discarding excess. Place in a small baking dish and cover with plastic wrap ( or wrap the whole roast in plastic wrap) refrigerate overnight (or for at least 2 hours). Bake in a 250F oven for 6 hours, uncovered, basting with the flavorful pan juices once every couple hours. Pull it from the oven and let it cool a bit. ( Alternatively, if using a slow cooker, cook for 4-5 hours on high, or 7 hours on low, adding a ¼ cup water to the bottom first) Shred the pork with two forks. Mix in the vinegar.
- Keep warm in the oven, slow cooker, or refrigerate, and reheat before serving.
- To make the slaw, mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl, and let stand a few minutes before serving, to allow flavors to meld.
- To make the sauce, mix mayo, sriracha and vinegar in a small bowl.
- Toast tortillas in a toaster oven, or “grill" directly over a gas flame, over the stove until warm.
- Place a little sauce on the tortilla, top with pulled pork and slaw. Garnish with avocado slice ( optional) and fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
- Notes; To make Five Spice form scratch, toast all whole spices, then grind, add to ground spices.
- To get the pork crispy, saute in a skillet, letting it brown up, right before serving.
- If subbing beef for the pork, cooking time may shorten slightly- to be safe check one hour earlier.