Sweet and spicy Chipotle Pork Tacos cooked sous-vide. They are served in corn tortillas with fresh guacamole, black bean paste and sour cream.
This is my own version of spicy Mexican pulled pork tacos, with a Canadian flair to it; maple syrup. This particular recipe uses a sous-vide machine although it could easily be done in a slow cooker. The other day, while walking around my “Temple” called Santa Caterina Market, in Barcelona. I ended up at my favourite pork butcher and got hypnotized by those skinless pork knuckles/ham hocks. I couldn’t resist the urge to try to make something special out of them. So here we are making Chipotle Pork Tacos!
Pork Knuckles/Ham Hock
We don’t see many recipes around with this cut even though it’s divine tasting. It reminds me of pork cheek, the taste is somehow distinct, bolder than other cuts. Once perfectly cooked it becomes so tender, it falls apart easily plus it’s way less fatty than let’s say pork belly… I already know the Germans (hubby) love this cut, they make a popular roasted pork knuckle dish in Bavaria called Schweinshaxe. Delicious stuff, although you need the skin for this particular recipe.
This cut of meat is the elbows of the pork which contains lots of ligaments and tendons. For this reason, the meat needs proper long and low-temperature cooking to become extra tender. No better way to cook long and slow than a sous-vide machine right? Of course, you can use a crockpot or slow cooker to cut on cooking time. Although the meat’s texture might change, and be less juicy. I like sous-vide, for this reason, the meat cooks to a precise temperature and evenly.
However, for this recipe I’ve used the sous-vide method, slow cookers are great to make pulled pork as well… simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and let it go for 8 hours at low temperature.
I’ve always wanted to be a hot pepper heat warrior like my siblings but at the end of the day, I have to accept that I’m weak. I do love some heat in my food but cannot pass the “medium” level. That’s why I love to add a little sugar through those hot dishes, to calm the heat down and balance things. This element brings a nice note to the dish, not powerful enough to make the meat sweet but enough to calm down all that heat and give the meat this extra layer of deliciousness… is that a word?
The cut of meat can be any with lots of marble and ligaments, whether it’s Boston Butt, Shoulder, or Knuckles. As for the maple syrup if you don’t have any simply substitute it for some honey.
Other Mexican Recipes
- MEXICAN SHRIMP BOWL
- BAKED TWICE SWEET POTATO A LA MEXICANA
- MEXICAN STEW
- EASY CHIPOTLE CHICKEN QUESADILLAS
Chipotle Pork Tacos
- 1 Sous-Vide Machine Slow cooker
- 2 pork knuckles/ham hock (skinless)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 220 g Chipotle in adobo ((1 small can))
- 1 lime (or 3 tbsp of apple vinegar)
- 5 tbsp maple syrup ((or honey))
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 5 g butter
- salt and pepper
- 12 small corn tortillas
- black bean paste
- sour cream
- fresh cilantro
Sous-vide pork knuckles
- Add a touch of coarse salt and pepper to the pork knuckles/ham hocks, and add them to the plastic bag with the butter.
- Sous-vide them (air-tight bag) and let them for 48 hours at 63°C (145F°) for a tender result.
- Once done, with the help of a fork, shred the meat and reserve.
- Soften the onion in a small pan with olive oil and salt (5 minutes).
- Add to the blender six chipotle peppers from the can, 3 tbsp of the adobo sauce from the can and the rest of the ingredients, and blend until a homogeneous paste.
- Mix the chipotle paste with the pulled pork and check the seasoning (salt and pepper.)
I don’t think I’ve seen pork knuckle here but I love the ingredients in the sauce. It sounds really delicious.
I love the sound of chipotle and maple pulled pork, delicious! I like how you’ve used ham hock, it really is tasty and works well for pulled pork, like you say it’s much better than pork belly fat wise. Really must try your slow cooker version, thanks for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by!
your pictures are fantastic, makes me really hungry xxx
Glad to see that;)
I love working with ham hock, great for soup or recipes featuring a shredded meat. Super flavourful and AFFORDABLE. This dish looks likes a winner all around 😀
There is that “je ne sais quoi” extra flavor in there also;) It definitely a great cut! Thanks for stopping by!
This looks SOOOO good! I don’t eat pork anymore, but the chipotle maple combo sounds amazing and I bet I could make a veggie version! 🙂
I’m sure you’ll find a nice vegetarian alternative!
Oh my goodness! What’s not to like about this recipe, it’s calling to me! Love your sauce and all the extras!
Yum…who doesn’t LOVE pulled pork. These are fun, and perfect for entertaining. Lots of flavour out of that ham hock for sure.
Thanks for stopping by Gloria!
I love that dish! I have never tried it with maple syrup, but definitely will give it a go 🙂 Amazing!
now you got me wanted to smoke a knuckle instead of a shoulder. These look insane!!
These look SO good. Love the addition of the maple – sweet & spicy is my jam!
I make pork tacos all the time – in fact I made some this weekend! This looks like a great recipe, I’ll try this one next time!! Yum yum!
MMMmmm… looks way too good to be true! This is a must try on my list.