Recipe courtesy of Jonathan Waxman

Roast Pork Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
If I could pick my last supper, this would be it. It's a versatile recipe, easy to put together and perfect for a crowd. Finished with a simple slaw and tangy tomatillo salsa, it's guaranteed to be requested, even beyond the last supper.


For The Pork

For The Tomatillo Salsa

For The Coleslaw

For Serving


  1. For the pork butt, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Melt the lard in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cut the pork butt into 2-inch cubes. Add the pork to the pot and allow the meat to slowly brown. Season the pork with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Peel and quarter the yellow onion. Add the onion and garlic to the pot with the pork.
  3. Combine the cinnamon, turmeric, chile powder and crushed coriander and set aside. Continue to allow the pork to brown and caramelize.
  4. While the pork is browning, start the tomatillo salsa by heating a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Add the halved tomatillos, the outer strips of the jalapeños, halved onions and garlic, and cook until tender.
  5. Add the spices to the browned pork. Check the ingredients for the tomatillo salsa, the tomatillos and chiles will cook faster than the onion, so you can remove them to a bowl if necessary. Add ¼ cup (60ml) water to the pan to finish cooking the onions. Remove onions when softened. Cover the bowl with the cooked salsa ingredients.
  6. For the coleslaw, slice both cabbages and put in a large bowl. Add the juice of two limes, mirin, salt and fresh ginger, and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit, tossing every 30 minutes, until the cabbage is slightly cooked by the seasonings.*Browning the pork will take about 20 to 25 minutes. Once the pork is sufficiently browned, add 1 to 2 cups of water to the pot, bring the water to a simmer, transfer the pot to the oven (preheated to 375 degrees F) and bake until the pork is fork tender about 1.5 hours, checking every 15 minutes.
  7. To finish the salsa, transfer the tomatillo mixture to a blender and puree until chunky, adding 1 tablespoon (15ml) water at a time, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. The salsa can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  8. Check the pork, and continue roasting uncovered to finish the caramelization process. Remove the pork butt from the oven and flake into large chunks with a fork. Make tacos with the pork in warm corn tortillas, garnished with the coleslaw, salsa, sour cream and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.