Who doesn’t love pulled pork (or, as it’s called in the land of my birth, barbecue)? It is tasty, inexpensive, and you get a lot all at once, especially if you get a whole (“New York”) shoulder. I like to smoke a pile and freeze it in small packages that can be used for lunches and quick meals. But sometimes I don’t feel like just making a standard pulled pork sandwich, and want something a little different. One thing I like to do, particularly in the summer, is make soft tacos with the pork on small corn tortillas, and top with pico de gallo and mango slaw. These are very tasty and refreshing, and without dousing them with cheese or sour cream they don’t give you that “I ate way too much” feeling.
I won’t give a recipe for pulled pork here – I’ll assume you have some on hand. If not, why not? There’s all sorts of recipes out there, get going!
Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
- 2 medium to large tomatoes, diced and drained.
- chopped onion – about 1/2 cup. You can use green onions, or red onions for a bit more kick, or vidalias for a bit more sweetness.
- chopped cilantro – about 1/3 cup, more if you are a fan, less if not so much
- 1 finely chopped sweet red pepper
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped (can be omitted if you or your guests don’t like the heat)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- juice of one lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle of olive oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If you let it sit in the fridge for an hour or more the flavours blend nicely.
- 1 lb package shredded cabbage for slaw, or finely shred 1 lb of cabbage
- 1 green, unripe mango, sliced into strips. If you don’t have a mandolin, you can use a peeler to peel fat strips of mango and cut these into thin strips with a knife.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp each or to taste.
Combine all ingredients and toss well. This is a very lightly dressed coleslaw, and not sweet. Be sure to use unripe mango for a nice refreshing tang and a bit of crunch. Ripe mango is too soft and sweet.
And that’s pretty much it! Grab a corn tortilla, a dollop of pork, pico do gallo and top with the slaw. If you like more of a kick, hit it with your favourite hot sauce, and enjoy on a summer evening with a refreshing beer. I find it goes great with hefeweizen, but your tastes may differ from mine.
Both the slaw and the pico de gallo will keep for at least a day in the fridge, so by all means leave enough for leftovers!