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Default Dinner-Crisped Pulled Pork with Pico de Gallo and Refried Beans

by Karen on April 29th, 2013


pulled pork ready to serve


No matter the time of year, pulled pork is one of my frequent Default Dinners—something that doesn’t take a lot of labor to prepare and everyone in the family loves it.  It’s one of those meals they get excited about when they ask What’s for Dinner?

With Cinco de Mayo quickly approaching perhaps you can use a recipe like this!

Crisped Gluten Free Pulled Pork

We have a favorite spot in South Park for authentic Mexican food, so everything we make at home kind of goes through a filter of “would they serve it this way?”  We used to just slow cook the pork shoulder and then serve it, after a few times we realized a crispy crust was missing.  Many stovetops incorporate a griddle these days which (in our other house) was great.  Right now we are using a $20 tabletop griddle–which I use for so many things—and it is perfect for pulled pork.  It even holds (exactly) a 3 pound pork shoulder roast after it has cooked for 4 hours.

Crisped Pulled Pork

(serves 4 with leftovers)

3 pounds pork shoulder ”butt” roast
4 ounce can chopped green chilies
12 ounce bottle green taco sauce
12 corn tortillas
canola oil for frying

Remove any string that might be holding pork together.  Cut the piece of pork in half horizontally so it is one even layer and place it into either a Dutch oven or a flat roasting pan with at least 2-inch sides.  Place pork fat side up and sprinkle chopped green chilies and taco sauce all over the pork.  Fill taco sauce bottle halfway with water, shake it up and pour over pork.

pork covered in green chiles and green taco sauce

Cover tightly with lid or foil (depending on which cooking vessel you use)

pork tightly covered--we use just a simple shallow baking pan

and cook 4 hours at 250 degrees (crock pot cooking works too but it will take all day).
When meat is pull-apart tender, it is done.

Add a crisp crust

Remove only really big chunks of fat (don’t remove it all as you want some for flavor) and separate the meat with a fork, set aside.  Often there is not any fat to remove.

Just before serving heat some oil in a heavy skillet or on a griddle.  Briefly cook corn tortillas until they soften, drain on paper toweling.  Remove all but a few tablespoons of oil from skillet. Add pulled pork ( in batches if using a skillet) and cook in oil for a few minutes to add a bit of a crust to the meat.

pulled pork just placed on griddle

pulled pork crisped and ready to serve

Serve tortillas with pulled pork, pico de gallo, and refried beans.

Alternative:  If you don’t have time to make pico de gallo, serve with grated monterey jack cheese topped with chipolte sauce (we use one by Bufalo called Picante Chipolte Salsa)

Pico de Gallo

While the pulled pork is cooking, make the pico de gallo— and just before you crisp up the pork, pour a bit of oil on the griddle and warm up some corn tortillas then drain on paper toweling and keep them warm in the oven while you crisp the pork.

pico de gallo, there is also jalapeno in there
Pico de Gallo
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
3-4 tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
¼ cup chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and stir. Serve at room temperature.

Gluten Free Refried Beans

Pinto Beans

Homemade refried beans complete this meal but they aren’t really a part of my default dinner unless I have some in the freezer, otherwise Rosaritas No-Fat Refried Beans are a good alternative.

Refried Beans

Authentic Refried Beans

refried beans

(serves 4 with leftovers)

2 cups dry pinto beans
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup or less of lard–you can also use canola oil if you like
Reserved cooking water from beans
2 teaspoons salt

Rinse and pick through dry beans to remove any stray objects (like small bits of rocks).Soak your beans overnight or follow your pressure cooker instructions for pre-soaking.

Cook the beans according to package or pressure cooker directions.  When beans are cooked, saute onion in fat over medium heat in a heavy skillet, cook until soft and somewhat carmelized.  With a slotted spoon, remove the beans from their cooking water.  Add cooked beans along with more of the lard and mash the beans while combining with the onions. Salt to taste.  If the refried beans need additional moisture add some of the bean cooking water.  If you plan to freeze the beans add some additional bean cooking water to them as well.

Note: I am using mangalitsa leaf lard, a highly rendered lard that is healthier.  Can be purchased at
Early adopters of the Mangalitsa Pig lard include: The French Laundry and The Herb Farm


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From → Entree', Side Dish

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