Photo: Jennifer Causey Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell
Hands-on Time:
25 Mins
Total Time:
7 Hours 30 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 2 tacos)

The pork gets a big flavor boost from achiote paste, a mix of ground annatto seeds, vinegar, salt, and spices. Find it at Latin markets.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 250°.

Step 2

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 8 minutes or until skins are well charred, turning occasionally. Remove cloves from pan; cool 5 minutes, and discard skins. Combine garlic, rind, juice, achiote paste, and 2 teaspoons oil in a mini chopper; process until smooth.

Step 3

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over pork. Brush achiote mixture evenly over pork. Place pork in a medium Dutch oven or ovenproof saucepan; cover and bake at 250° for 6 hours. Remove from oven, and let stand for 30 minutes.

Step 4

While pork cooks, place onion in a medium bowl. Combine 1/2 cup water, vinegar, agave, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour vinegar mixture over onion; stir. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; cool to room temperature, rearranging as needed to keep onion submerged. Chill at least 1 hour.

Step 5

Place pork on a cutting board; shred with 2 forks. Discard fat.

Step 6

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 1 cup shredded pork to pan in an even layer; cook 3 minutes or until a crust develops, turning once. Place crisped pork on a platter. Repeat procedure with remaining shredded pork.

Step 7

Place 2 warm tortillas on each of 6 plates. Top each tortilla with 1 1/2 ounces crisped pork, 1 tablespoon Tomatillo Salsa, and 1 tablespoon pickled red onion.

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