I adapted these Citrus Pulled Pork Tacos with Garlic-Lime Sauce from Brasa Rotisserie’s Slow Roasted Pork with Garlic-Lime Mojo. While I don’t live in Minneapolis or St. Paul, every opportunity I get to visit Brasa, I do, and I always get the pork. This version translates the slow-roasted pork from the restaurant kitchen to the home kitchen and takes the pork a step further by making them tacos. Let’s get started.
These Citrus Pulled Pork Tacos with Garlic-Lime Sauce have orange, lemon, and lime juices, yes, all 3. Before roasting, the pork marinates in a mixture of lemon and orange juices, garlic, and onion spices overnight to ensure the juiciest and most flavorful pork possible. I highly suggest driving to your nearest Costco or bulk foods store and stocking up, as the lemons and oranges are the primary and essential ingredients to the porks’ flavor. The sweetness from the freshly squeezed orange juice perfectly complements the acidity of the lemon juice. This leads to the pork having a perfect balance between sweet and acid and complements the Garlic-Lime Sauce.
An easy slow-roasting method adopted from Nom Nom paleo’s Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder produces a moist, tender, and drool-worthy pork shoulder that doesn’t dry up even after spending hours in the oven. Please note: A slow cooker version is also included for those of you with a leaner piece of pork or who prefer the ease of it.
While making the Garlic-Lime Sauce is an extra step, it is as simple as putting a handful of ingredients in a food processor or blender and pressing a button. The sauce is full of garlic, ginger, cilantro (or parsley for those who are cilantro adverse), and jalapeños and has a yogurt and mayonnaise base. It has the perfect balance of acid and fat that makes all of the flavors sing. I think Samin Nosrat would be proud. Say hello to your new favorite Mexican sauce.
Ways to use the leftover Citrus Pulled Pork
This Citrus Pulled Pork goes beyond just tacos. Think quesadillas, nachos, burrito bowls, sliders, and enchiladas. The possibilities are endless! If your creativity runs out, rest assured, this pulled pork freezes beautifully.
Possible Substitutions for these Citrus Pulled Pork Tacos with Garlic-Lime Sauce
FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE. Store-bought orange juice works in place of freshly squeezed, but the orange juice flavor is more pronounced, and the pork tastes sweeter overall.
FISH SAUCE. Feel free to use worcestershire sauce instead of fish sauce.
YOGURT AND MAYONNAISE. If you want to make the garlic-lime sauce dairy-free, substitute the yogurt for mayonnaise. Yogurt works in place of mayonnaise, and the sauce has a distinct tang.
Before you start: Helpful Tips
This pulled pork recipe has a few extra steps that are proven to be well worth your time and effort. A word of caution: I don’t recommend trying to “streamline” the recipe by skimping on the freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice, reducing the marinating time, or skipping the sauté step. I’ve tried it and deeply regretted it.
More Spring-Inspired Recipes
- Sweet & Spicy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Perfectly Sweet Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
- Spring Grilled Cheese with Charred Scallions
Citrus Pulled Pork Tacos with Garlic-Lime Sauce
These Pulled Pork Tacos with Garlic Lime Sauce are tender, juicy, and bursting with orange, lemon, and lime juices. They are made with simple ingredients, plus oven-roasted and crockpot versions to fit your needs!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours,30 minutes
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Roast
- Cuisine: Latin American
For the pork shoulder:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup (230g) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup (230g) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- One 5-pound, bone-in Boston butt
For the garlic-lime sauce:
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons chopped white onion
- 1/2 tablespoon finely minced ginger
- 1/4 cup (4g) finely chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup (115g) mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup (123g) plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup (59g) water
- salt, to taste
- 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- Finely sliced red onions
- Pickled jalapeños
- Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled cojita
- Sliced avocado
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
For the pork shoulder:
- Heat the olive oil in a 10-12-inch saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lemon and orange juices and bring the mixture to a simmer, about 3 minutes. After the mixture simmers for 2 minutes, stir in the white vinegar. Transfer 1 cup of the sauce to a food processor. Refrigerate the remaining sauce in an air-tight container for later use.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic and onion powders and ground pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture (reserving the rest for step 4) and the fish sauce to the sauce in the food processor. Puree the mixture until smooth.
- Rub the pork shoulder all over with 1 tablespoon salt. Place the pork shoulder in a resealable 1-gallon plastic bag and pour in the sauce from the food processor. Refrigerator pork for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, occasionally turning.
- For roasting: Preheat your oven to 275°F and take the roast out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Cover a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil and layer the sliced onions in the middle of the baking sheet. Rub the remaining spice mixture all over the pork. Place the pork shoulder on top of the layer of onions. Once the pork has come to room temperature, place the roast in the oven and let it slowly roast until the meat is very tender and is 180°F, about 6 hours. Remove the roast from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 30 minutes. Discard the onions on the baking sheet. For a slow cooker: Remove the pork shoulder from the marinade and let it come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Rub the remaining spice mixture all over the pork. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker with 1/4 cup of the marinade. Cook on low 8-10 hours, until very tender and easily shredded. Remove the meat from the slow cooker, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Shred the meat, discarding the bones and any excess fat. If you used the slow cooker method, spread the pork on a baking sheet and broil on low until slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and continue with step 6.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper and stir in the remaining sauce from step 1. If you used the slow cooker method and would like additional sauce, degrease the sauce from the slow cooker and add it to the meat.
For the garlic-lime sauce:
- Add the jalapeños, garlic cloves, white onion, ginger, and cilantro to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree the mixture until smooth. Season the mixture with salt to taste and serve with the tacos.
- Prepare the garnishes. To assemble, top the tortillas with the pork, garlic-lime sauce, and desired garnishes. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing.
STORAGE. Store the pulled pork in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The garnishes are best prepared right before eating. The pulled pork also freezes well.
DO AHEAD. To freeze, cool the pulled pork to room temperature and place it in a freezer zip-lock bag. Spread the pork evenly in the bag so it lays flat. Seal the bag, making sure there are no air pockets in the bag. Place the bag flat in the freezer. Alternatively, freeze the pork in a freezer-safe container with a lid, such as a glass food storage container . Keep frozen up to 3 months. To reheat in a slow cooker: Place the frozen pork in a slow cooker, add 1/4 cup water in the bottom, and cook on low for 8 hours. To reheat on the stove-top: Defrost the pork in the refrigerator overnight, and reheat in a large heavy-bottom pot on medium-low, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture frequently to prevent the bottom of the pan from burning.
- Serving Size: 1/10 of pork shoulder
- Calories: 626
- Sugar: 3.8g
- Sodium: 994mg
- Fat: 47.8g
- Saturated Fat: 16.5g
- Carbohydrates: 6.3g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 39.1g
- Cholesterol: 161mg
Keywords: pulled pork recipe, pulled pork in crockpot, pulled pork tacos, oven roasted pulled pork