Leftover BBQ Pork Tacos
BBQ pork ribs or shoulder or butt are among my all time favorite things to cook - and eat. So much so, that my eyes are often far bigger than my mouth and I end up with a ton of left overs. I swear, it happens every single time. Which I'm fine with, as there's a number of great dishes I can make with that tender, smoky, juicy and flavorful pork. In fact I'm nearly in tears if I don't get a leftover pulled pork sandwich the day after cooking some BBQ.
But, after a couple meals, I'm looking to do something a bit different with my BBQ leftovers, and one of my favorites is Pork Tacos. Tacos are a perfect "vehicle" for using up left overs, as they are so versatile. When you take BBQ pork, the tacos are actually pretty close to a traditional carnitas - typically make from pork shoulder/butt. For just about all my tacos I follow a a pretty simple "formula" where I combine a filling (in this case the pork), with few toppings that bring 1) acid, 2) heat, 3) sweet, and 4) crunch. When you get those elements on your taco, they are almost guaranteed to be yummy. These are soft shell tacos, which are my favorites; but if you want to use hard shells go for it. Just make sure it tastes great to you.
Keys to the Best Leftover BBQ Pork Tacos
- The pork could dry out quite a bit if you reheat it too long, or too hot. Go nice and gentle when re-heating; and I'd recommend a pan on low heat vs the microwave
- Go light on the BBQ sauce. There is probably already a good amount of sauce on the meat. If you need a bit more that's fine; but BBQ sauce is likely the strongest flavor you'll be using and you don't want to over do it.
- Make sure you have the flavor elements of 1) acid (tartness), 2) heat, 3) sweet and 4) crunch, they'll make the finished tacos much more flavorful and interesting to eat.
- 2 cups cooked & shredded BBQ pork - Don't have any, make some with this technique
- Coleslaw - again, i like leftover, but here's a version I like.
- Corn (fresh off the cob is best)
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce
- 2 Limes
- Soft shell tortillas
How to Make Leftover BBQ Pork Tacos
- Cut the corn off the cob, and quickly sauté over very high heat until just cooked through; allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes
- Gently shred the cooked pork into bite size pieces
- Put the pork in a pan, cover, and put over the lowest heat possible. Heat for 5 - 10 minutes until the pork is tender, but not dried out. It would be ok to add a few tablespoons of water while heating if needed.
- While the pork heats, slice the limes and squeeze about a teaspoon (to taste) of juice on the corn, along with some salt and pepper
- Spike the sour cream by putting about 2 tablespoons in a zip lock baggie, with a few dashes (to taste) of hot sauce and mix together
- Once the pork is heated and tender, turn the heat up to full blast and cook the pork for about 2 minutes; that will get the edges crispy and give the tacos more flavor and a great texture
- Heat the tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds; until softened
- Portion the pork on the the warmed tortillas, and top with the corn & coleslaw
- Use a pair of scissors to cut a small hole in the corner of the zip lock bag and "pipe" some of the sour cream mixture over the tacos; and garnish with some of the cilantro
- Serve them up with the additional limes, a margarita, and enjoy!
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