Roasted Pork Tacos with Pumpkin Seed Sauce

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  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Roast: 2 hrs 45 mins 350°F /400 degrees F
  • Stand: 20 mins
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Roasted Pork Tacos with Pumpkin Seed Sauce
pounds pork shoulder (bone in)
teaspoon salt
tablespoons achiote paste (available at Mexican grocery stores)
tablespoons lime juice
cup packed brown sugar
tablespoons cider vinegar
teaspoon crushed or finely chopped dried chile de arbol
tablespoon olive oil
White corn tortillas, warmed or toasted in a skillet
Taco Garnishes:
Sliced pickled jalapeno peppers
Sour cream
Chopped tomatoes seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper
Radish slices
Lime wedges
Chopped avocado
Pickled Red Onions
Cilantro sprigs
1 recipe Pumpkin Seed Sauce
1 recipe Roasted Pumpkin Guacamole
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 3-quart rectangular baking dish or roasting pan with foil; set aside.
  2. Score the fat cap of the pork shoulder into a diamond pattern, about 1-inch diamonds with about 1/2-inch of depth. Season the pork should with 1 teaspoon salt. Place pork in prepared dish, fat side up. Set aside.
  3. Roast pork 2 1/2 hours, occasionally spooning some of the achiote sauce over the pork. Increase oven to 400 degrees F; roast 15 minutes more. Remove roast from oven, cover and let stand 20 minutes.
  4. Roast for the pork should for 2 1/2 hours, spooning sauce over occasionally. Increase heat to 400 degrees F and roast for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven. Let stand, covered, for 20 minutes. Using 2 forks, pull the meat off the bone into shreds. Serve with tortillas and remaining garnishes.
Pumpkin Seed Sauce
cup raw pumpkin seeds
shallots, peeled and minced
clove garlic, peeled and minced
serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced*
teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, ground
teaspoon ground cinnamon
cups chicken stock or broth
teaspoon kosher salt
tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
cup chopped fresh cilantro
cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
  1. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When you are cooking seeds they will burn quickly so keep and eye on them and stir often. You are looking for a little browning, a development of nutty flavor. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. While you are finishing getting the seeds all toasty, set up the blender and combine shallot, garlic, the serrano, cumin and cinnamon. Add half of the chicken stock, the toasted pumpkin seeds, and the salt; cover and blend to a fine texture.
  2. Heat the large skillet over medium-high heat and add the avocado oil. When the oil is hot add the mixture from the blender and cook down, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary. The texture should be like a smooth salsa, but not too thick. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the remaining stock with the cilantro and the parsley in the blender and blend until smooth. This sauce should be very green and when the salsa base is cool, combine the two. Serve warm or at room temperature. Or, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
Pickled Red Onions
medium red onion, thinly sliced
cups water
cups apple cider vinegar
cup sugar
  1. Place the onions in a large non-reactive, heatproof bowl; set aside. Combine the water, vinegar, and sugar in a 2-quart pot and bring to boiling. Pour the mixture over the onions and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool to room temperature before draining and serving.
From the Test Kitchen
*Handling Hot Peppers:

Because hot chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid contact with chiles as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands well with soap and water.

Nutrition Facts (Roasted Pork Tacos with Pumpkin Seed Sauce)
    Per serving:
  • 435 kcal cal.,
  • 24 g fat
  • (6 g sat. fat,
  • 4 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 11 g monounsatured fat),
  • 88 mg chol.,
  • 625 mg sodium,
  • 24 g carb.,
  • 3 g fiber,
  • 8 g sugar,
  • 31 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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