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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Smoked Pork Tacos

This is the second holiday we have spent firing up the smoker, and experimenting with smoked meats. I really love pushing my creativity, coming up with new combinations of brine, rub and smoke. For the pork this round, I decided to bring in a simple combination of molasses, salt and water, and make the rub the real star. We used pecan and cherry to smoke. I didn't take the pork to the complete "pulled pork" stage, and left it to medium temperature. This left me with the good, smoked flavor, but the texture of a nice pork roast. 
For these tacos, I topped these with a simple jicama slaw, and some quesadilla cheese. They were perfect! 

Smoked Pork Tacos
For the pork:
One 5-8 pound pork butt (shoulder)
3 quarts water
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
3/4 cup molasses
The night before you are ready to smoke, mix together the water, salt and molasses. Place the pork butt in the mixture, and refrigerate overnight.

Rub mixture:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon ground garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
In the morning, remove the meat from the brine, and pat dry. Generously rub the seasoning mixture all over the pork butt. Smoke for 10-12 hours at 200-225 degrees, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 180-185 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest for 30 minutes.
Check out the smoke ring on that baby!
For the jicama slaw:
1 medium sized jicama, cut into matchsticks
1 small red pepper, diced finely
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix vegetables and cilantro together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

To assemble tacos:
6 small flour tortillas, warmed
6 ounces quesadilla cheese
Smoked pork, diced
Jicama slaw
Salsa of your choice
Place meat on tortillas, add toppings as desired. Enjoy!

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