Fruity El Pastor Tacos

This has been quite the weekend! S had a safe and wonderful delivery, and welcomed a heathy, gorgeous baby boy into the world. We're so glad he's here. While the G family gets some time to bond with the new baby, I get some time off of work, even though work doesn't really feel like work most of the time. Im so blessed to be working with such a seriously amazing family.
Yesterday when I got back from meeting new baby G, Xavier mentioned that he was inviting a few friends over for a bbq today.There is something so wonderful about getting together with just a few of your closest friends, the intimacy and comfort reminds me that community really is worth the effort. It is also so endearing to see the way they love on Julian, it really does take a village. Kristen (note that Kristen is not Kirstin, we have different names hah) came over this morning to help me whip up some delicious mango salsa and guacamole. I really appreciate that her approach to cooking is similar to mine, she is creative with the ingredients and staples she has on hand, and always makes something outstanding out of little time and few ingredients.  Don't ask me how our bbq became taco night, I was standing in line at the butcher case in whole foods looking for Xavier's burgers and I remembered that my apricots were probably going bad soon. I should probably use them up, a marinade? A sauce? Apricots and........pulled pork, yep, Xavier loves pulled pork. This will do. 

So here is the recipe for the pulled pork that I made for Xavier. (and Kristen and Charles and Jake) 

10 medium apricots
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1 tablespoon cumin
pinch of salt/pepper 

1. Peel and pit the apricots, puree them. 
2. In a sauce pan, combine the other ingredients with the apricot puree and let them reduce a little bit. 
3. I stored the sauce over night in a ball jar, I was hoping the flavors would blend together overnight. I had about 12 oz of the sauce at the end. 

Pulled Pork:

2 pound bone in pork shoulder 
3 jalapenos, sliced 
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
8 oz (1c) apricot/balsamic sauce
salt/ pepper

(pre heat oven to 350)
1. Line a glass baking dish with foil. 
2. Rub the salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic and cayenne on all sides of the pork. 
3. Place the pork shoulder in the glass baking dish, scatter the jalepenos around the pork. 
4. Pour the sauce over the pork, making sure to cover all sides and get in any nooks and crannies.
5. Cover the pork with the foil to form a pocket. 
6. Let the pork cook for about three and a half hours, or until it is tender and cooked through.
7. Take the pork out, let it cool a bit so you can pull it apart with a fork, discard the bones.
8. Use the left over sauce to coat the pork. 

To assemble the tacos we used regular flour tortillas, mango salsa, pomegranate guacamole, (recipe for those are below)  some queso fresco, and cilantro from the garden. 


You can always tell if something is delicious if everyone is a happy silent for the first few bites. These tacos made that happy silent moment. They really wouldn't be the same with out the delicious mango salsa & pomegranate guacamole. It really made the whole dish feel so summery, exciting with different crunches and flavors.  When I asked Kristen if I could post her recipe for these she gave me a quizzical look and asked me if they were really recipes. Her humility is so endearing. So with out further ado, here it is. 

Kristen (not Kirstin's) Mango Salsa:
1 ripe mango, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1. Orange pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic (grated with a microplane)
1/2 a jalepeno (grated with a microplane) 

Combine all ingredients

Kristen's Pomegranate Guacamole

I just want to throw in here that Kristen made this for a christmas party, she threw the pomegranate seeds in because she thought it would look pretty, and it did, and it tasted amazing too. I had hoped that she brought over a pomegranate today, so when she pulled it out of her bag I was delighted! The crunch and sweetness of the pomegranate seeds are a nice surprise and contrast to the smoothness of the avocado. 

1/2 the seeds of a small pomegranate, 
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, (grated with a microplane)
1/2 jalepeno (grated with a microplane)
juice of three small limes
handful of cilantro, chopped
3 avocados.

combine ingredients. 


We also made the Cantaloupe Basil Aqua Fresca I mentioned in my last Things To Consider post.
And while we were pureeing all that cantaloupe we figured we may as well go big time and made this too, but added a little vodka and a lime to spice it up. 


What  a delicious evening. Im stuffed. I like to save the meat for the celebrations or special dinners. Being married to a non vegetarian makes being a strict vegetarian a little difficult sometimes, but life calls for flexibility, and this is especially true in marriage. Hope you are having a great weekend, and great food! 



  1. Awesome!! I can't wait to make this. The plan is to crock pot the pulled pork with the sauce. Then we're going to make burritos with black beans and rice with cilantro. I don't have the resources to do the guac or salsa right now but I would like to at some point :)

  2. Great! let me know how it turns out! The cilantro would be great!

  3. Okay...so. Last night I prepped the apricot balsamic sauce...it smelled awesome! Although a little heavy on the cumin side. I refrigerated it over night. When I woke up I got out the pork shoulder, added the rub, and placed in my crock pot. Then I cut up the jalapenos (scooping out all of the seeds...I'm a wimp like that) and threw them into the pot. Then I added most of the sauce to make sure the pork wouldn't dry out while it cooked all day.

    When I got home from work I was standing outside of my apartment looking for my keys when my nose got hit with wonderful smells. I had no idea it was coming from behind my door! haha! It actually smelled quite different than it did from when I reduced it last night...but in a really good way. It was a mix of sweet and spicy (appropriately).

    I checked out the pot and it looked so awesome :). The sauce has really thinned out, and the meat was just sort of stewing in it, soaking up all of the tasty-ness. I cooked some black beans (painstaking to have to wait to eat the pork) and rice, as I said I would. Unfortunately I didn't have any cilantro or avocados for guac, but my husband ran out to go pick some up. If you can believe it, Meijer was out of cilantro?!

    Anyway, I pulled my pork and actually strained the liquid that was in the crock pot of the fallen-off fat pieces and what not, saving the thinned sauce to heat up the pork in (considering it was cold by the time the beans and rice were ready). It allowed the meat to stay super moist and flavorful! ANYWAY, we used whole-grain tortillas with all of the aforementioned goodies...and they were wonderful pork burritos! I was curious how I was going to like the apricot sauce because I'm not even sure it sounded good when you mentioned it, just interesting. (Not that I doubted it could be good, it was just hard for me to imagine what it might taste like.)

    Now that I wrote a ridiculously long description of my dinner, I just wanna say thanks for the post! Did you and your friend come up with the recipe on your own?? That is something I am really striving to be able to do. I am a relatively new cook...but I can make pretty much anything because it just really takes following directions, haha. But I want to be good at developing my own meals and getting a feel for what spices and flavors blend well. Kudos to you for being an excellent chef...I look forward to more posts :) <3

    ps. glad you took the cool day to relax :) it was the perfect day to curl up and snuggle!

    1. Im so glad you liked it!! Did you add the left over sauce to the cooked pork? I feel like that last kick of flavor adds a little more to the overall dish. I actually got the idea for this recipe from a real simple magazine recipe for balsamic apricot pork chops. I loved the flavor combination, but it was a little over the top sweet for me so I thought that spices like cumin and a little heat from the peppers would do well to balance that out. So when I was at whole foods and I saw the pork shoulder I sort of came up with it from there. Kristen made the guak and salsa, and they were great together...but I can see the black beans complimenting the pork really really well. Thanks so much for trying this! Ill have to send you some recipes to test before I post them!

  4. This looks and sounds amazing!!! I can't wait to try it out.

    1. Morgan,
      Yay! I really hope you love it! I actually wanted to try it again because I found a new type of apricot, blue velvet apricot! It's a cross between a plum and an apricot.... Maybe a tart first... Haha. Thanks so much for reading! Please le me know how it turns out :)