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I love the calm that January brings. Winter’s rest is palpable in this little town. Most of our local farm markets have officially closed for the season with their fields resting under blankets of ice and snow.
While it may feel like the whole world is under Winter’s blanket too, it’s just not so. In fact, our farmer friends in the warmer parts of the country are enjoying the fruits of their labor, quite literally. January is prime time for citrus fruits! So, today I’m reaching for seasonal oranges and limes.
I’m also seeking a little heat. No, not to melt the icicles that hang in my doorway and from my windows, but by way of the smoky spice of chipotle. Winter calls for comfort food and slow cooking, and I am more than happy to oblige. So pull out that crock-pot and let’s make Crock-Pot Pulled Pork Chipotle Lime Tacos together!
Don’t you just love being finished with dinner prep while it’s still morning? I sure do. Coming home from picking up the kids at school to the aroma of a hot meal that’s been slowly cooking all day is a wonderful little pleasure in life.
Whenever I use my crock-pot for meats though, I like to add a level of flavor by pan-searing the meat first. The crusty caramelization adds a little something-something that the crock pot just can’t produce on its own. If you don’t have time for that, you can also spread the cooked and shredded pork onto a sheet-pan (along with a ladle full of those juices!) and add it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the edges before serving, for Mexican Carnita style tacos.
To take this recipe one step further, I like to dollop these tacos with a creamy dressing made from sour cream, a whole chipotle, honey and lime. Although you can top these tacos however you’d like. Straight-up sour cream works perfectly fine too. In fact, for someone who doesn’t care too much for spice, or for the kids, that’s a great way to balance the little bit of heat that’s in the pork. But if you’re like me and crave the spice, this dressing is definitely worth the extra minute it’ll take to make. Oh, and I also like to toss in a handful of Winter baby kale because I-heart-kale.
The shredded pork will keep well for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge, so go ahead and have Taco Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday! Just saying. You can also use the leftover pork, along with some of that deliciously flavored broth, and add it to rice, pasta, or in a salad. Yum, that’s what I’m taco about! (…sorry, couldn’t hep myself).
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know what you think! You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me if you make this! Don’t forget to tag me @chasingtheseasons so I can be sure to see it!
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CROCK POT PULLED PORK CHIPOTLE LIME TACOS
Slow Cook: High for 4 hours or low for 6-8
For the Pork:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (4-5 pound) boneless pork roast (fat trimmed and cut into 3 inch-wide pieces)
Salt and pepper to generously season the pork roast
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 freshly squeezed oranges
Juice of 2 freshly squeezed limes
1 cup of chicken broth
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
1 cup (full fat) sour cream
1 whole chipotle (in adobo sauce), minced plus a 2-3 teaspoons of the adobe sauce
Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime
2 teaspoons honey
Salt for taste
For the Pork:
- Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and butter to a large skillet until hot. Generously season all sides of the pork with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Sear all sides of the pork until browned and set aside;
- Add all of the remaining pork ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine;
- Nestle the pork on top of these ingredients and cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4;
- When the pork is done, use two forks to shred it into bite sized pieces (you don’t have to take the pork out, you can do this right inside of the crock pot). Use a slotted spoon to serve into tacos and spoon some of the extra juices from the crock pot on top. Top with the homemade dressing and serve with extra lime wedges. Enjoy!
For the Dressing.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients together and stir well. Since it is a dressing, it will be a little looser than sour cream and easily able to spoon on top of the tacos. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Have fun with this! I like these tacos with sliced red onion and a handful of baby kale.
Here are some other options to consider: Add a spicy tomato salsa on top and omit the homemade dressing altogether. Or, add the spicy salsa to plain sour cream. Serve with avocado slices instead of, or perhaps with, the red onion. Maybe finely chop a white onion. Perhaps you’d like refried beans and shredded cheese. Don’t want kale? Consider chopping up some cilantro as a garnish.
Didn’t have time to pan-sear the pork first? Want crispy pork like Mexican Carnita? It’s easy. When the pork is done, spread the shredded pork in an even layer on a sheet pan. Ladle some of the crock pot juices (1/4 cup) on top and set under a broiler for 5 minutes or until edges start to crisp. Remove from broiler and ladle a little more juice over the pork and set under broiler again for 5 more minutes. Repeat method with remaining pork in the crock pot. When crispy, finish by ladling more of the juice on top before serving in the tacos.
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