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

Pork Knuckles

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.

Sous-vide

Chipotle Pork Tacos


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.

Slow Cooker

Chipotle Pork Tacos

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?

Variations

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.

Chipotle-Maple Pulled Pork Tacos

Other Mexican Recipes

Chipotle Pork Tacos

5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
sous-vide cooking time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 15 minutes
Servings 12 tacos
Calories 168
Sweet and spicy Chipotle Pork Tacos cooked sous-vide. They are served in traditional corn tortillas with fresh guacamole, black bean paste and sour cream.

Equipment

  • 1 Sous-Vide Machine Slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 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

Tacos sides

  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • guacamole
  • black bean paste
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro

Instructions 

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.
    Sous-vide pork
  • Once done, with the help of a fork, shred the meat and reserve.
    Shredding pork

The Sauce

  • 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.)
    Mixing sauce

Notes

Serve with corn tortillas and sides.
Author: Marie Breton
Calories: 168kcal
Course: Plato principal
Cuisine: Mexicana
Keyword: chipotle, gluten free, guacamole, maple, mexican, pulled pork, taco

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Facts
Chipotle Pork Tacos
Amount per Serving
Calories
168
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
7
g
11
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
0.03
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
20
mg
7
%
Sodium
 
35
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
91
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
22
g
7
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
98
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
2
mg
2
%
Calcium
 
37
mg
4
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

20 Comments

  1. I don’t think I’ve seen pork knuckle here but I love the ingredients in the sauce. It sounds really delicious.

  2. 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.

    • There is that “je ne sais quoi” extra flavor in there also;) It definitely a great cut! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. 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! 🙂

  4. Yum…who doesn’t LOVE pulled pork. These are fun, and perfect for entertaining. Lots of flavour out of that ham hock for sure.

  5. Derek @ Dad With A Pan Reply

    now you got me wanted to smoke a knuckle instead of a shoulder. These look insane!!

  6. 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!

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