Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos with Cherry-Peach Salsa (Crock Pot Recipe!)

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While Ben and I have the same views on important matters like family, religion, money management, and hugging, we have to laugh at how opposite we are regarding other parts of our lives.

He loves to skateboard, while I prefer to play tennis.

I’m a coffee drinking early bird, and he’s a hip hop listening night owl.

He hates heights, while I want to jump out of airplanes.

Fly/drive. Summer/winter. Cake/pie. I could go on for days, people!

Fortunately opposites do, in fact, attract, and let’s be real – I totally married up. Somehow I was lucky enough to find a guy who will chase after my misdirected tennis balls ’til blinded by sweat, lay with me when I fall asleep at 8pm, fly next to me over oceans, hold my hand in the sweltering heat when I need to hear the cicadas at night, and stuff his face with cake just to make me laugh.

The whole jumping out of an airline bit though? Non negotiable. I can’t get through to the man! ;)

Opposites also tastefully attract in food, which is easily proven by Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos with Cherry-Peach Salsa.

SmokyPulledPorkTacoswithCherryPeachSalsa

Smoky chipotle pepper-laced pulled pork combines with sweet cherry-peach salsa in a juicy taco that Ben and I both agreed is absolutely mouthwatering. And I quote, “This is the best thing you’ve made in a long time.” followed by, “Omg I can’t wait to shove this in my mouth.” regarding his second taco, and “I’ve never had juicier pork in my life.” Cough, TWSS, x2.

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These tacos were made even better due to the fact that they were cooked in the crock pot. All I had to do was throw everything in the crocker at night, set it on the base in the morning, then turn it on. The fresh, summery Cherry-Peach Salsa can also be made a couple days ahead of time, which means dinner can be on the table in the time it takes you to shred the pork. Love that!

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Start the pulled pork tacos by assembling and prepping the ingredients for the pulled pork.

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First slice 1 large onion into quarters, then separate the layers into the bottom of the crock pot. I used a 5 quart crock pot, btw, which fits this recipe beautifully.

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Next, address zee butt. A 4-5lb pork butt! Pork butt is actually pork shouldera fact I recently learned after an incredibly confusing conversation between me and my aforementioned husband regarding a requested shoulder rub in which he kept saying, yeah I’ll rub your butt! Right. Moving on!

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FIRST cut the pork into 5 or 6 big hunks, then liberally season each piece with salt & pepper. Per the pictures below, I forgot to cut the pork and put it in whole before removing and cutting up. Leaving it whole would have cost me hours in additional cooking time!

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Next add a few ingredients that will make the pulled pork taste wonderfully smokey, with a hint of sweet: 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce, 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (un-pictured) and 20oz Dr. Pepper.

Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeno peppers and are more smoky than spicy, in my opinion. You can get cans of them packed in adobo sauce right in the international foods aisle. I generally only use 1 or 2 per recipe, then stash the leftovers in my freezer.

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Pop the top onto the crock pot then either stash it in the fridge overnight and place it on the base in the morning, or put it onto the base now and cook on low for 8 hours.

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Now, as I mentioned, not only can the pulled pork be prepped in advance, but the sweet Cherry-Peach Salsa that goes on top can be made up to 2 days ahead of time too!

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To 1 cup each fresh chopped cherries & peaches, add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 minced jalapeno, the juice of 1 lime, and a dash of salt.

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Mix everything together, then try to save some for the tacos. This is one of my favorite fruit salsas to date, and is seriously delicious on it’s own.

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When the pork is cooked through, and fall apart-tender, shred it all up, place it into a bowl, then strain the juices from the crock pot through 2 layers of cheesecloth, and enough of it back in to cover.

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Spoon the juicy pork onto a few fajita-sized flour tortillas, top with the cold cherry-peach salsa, then devour!

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Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos with Cherry-Peach Salsa

Print this recipe!

Serves 6-8

Pulled Pork Tacos slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

For the pork:
4-5lb pork butt (may be called pork shoulder)
salt & pepper
1 large sweet onion
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 2 Tablespoons sauce
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
20oz Dr. Pepper
Fajita-sized flour quesadillas

For the Cherry-Peach Salsa:
1 cup chopped sweet cherries
1 cup chopped peaches (about 1 large peach)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, minced
salt
juice of 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Cut onion into quarters then separate layers into the bottom of a 5 quart (minimum size) crock pot. Trim pork butt of excess fat then cut into 4-6 large pieces and season well with salt & pepper. Lay seasoned pork on top of onions then add chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and Dr. Pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until pork is tender enough to easily shred with a fork.
  2. Remove pork pieces from the crock pot and shred, then place into a bowl and set aside. Strain juices through a double layer of cheesecloth and add back to shredded pork. Serve with Cherry-Peach Salsa in flour tortillas.
  3. For the Cherry-Peach Salsa: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make up to two days in advance.

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I was afraid the pork would be too sweet with the addition of BBQ sauce, Dr. Pepper and brown sugar, but it was perfect. Definitely not too sweet, because, wouldn’t you know it – while I love sweet & savory dinners, Ben’s all savory, all the time. Sweets are for dessert! Which he also doesn’t like. Come on! ;)

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I also originally wanted to make just a cherry salsa to top the tacos with, as a wink and a nod to Cherry Dr. Pepper, but I’m so glad I threw chopped peaches in there too. Their scent and flavor is just outrageous right now, and guess what? Even though Ben’s a savory guy, he LOVED the fruity salsa. That’s a major win, people!

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Knock the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce down a bit if you are sensitive to heat but as is, the heat level is only about a 5/10, and the cherry-peach salsa helped tone it down too!

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~~~~~

Do you and your mate have opposite interests, or are you pretty similar? What do you like to do together?

While we definitely have a lot of opposite interests, Ben and I like driving in the country, planning for our future, cooking, and going out to eat together!

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Comments

  1. I want you to be my personal chef! Love this recipe! We tend to disagree on almost EVERYTHING…. but somehow we are happy together! ;)

  2. AC 08.28.2012

    I’m with Ben… my husband has jumped out of not 1, but 2 (!!) airplanes! I keep my sweets for dessert… and didn’t you mention the other day is aversion to onions? Yeah… they don’t even get to see the inside of our house!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.28.2012

      Here’s the crazy thing – he likes the *taste* but not the *crunch* and misses the flavor when I leave it out, so I have to find a way to work them into stuff without chopping them up. Yaaaay… ;)

      • Kristen 08.28.2012

        I’m on Team Ben when it comes to onion consumption. I am the same way!! I love to cook with them, but hate that crunch. I always whirl them in the mini good processor when I’m cooking. To make it even weirder…I like them raw in salads where the whole thing is crunchy, I just don’t want the crunch in sauces or other non-crunchy items. I have issues. I know this :)

      • Afton 08.28.2012

        Ha! That’s totally how I feel about onions as well! I will eat the dried onion flakes if they’re in things though. Usually I just buy Tones Onion Powder though. And as any Ankeny-ite knows, we can tell when it’s onion day when driving by Tones!

      • Rachel 08.28.2012

        Me too! I love the taste of onions, but I cannot stand the texture of them. I use onion powder almost exclusively, but I have been known to try and sneak onions in on occasion. My husband likes onions even less than I do!

      • Brenda 08.29.2012

        i have the same problem with onions that your hubby does! i sooooooo understand.

  3. jennyv 08.28.2012

    Seriously — the same views on hugging cracked me up! Do you enjoy two armed hugs? One armed pat hugs? Etc! So funny!

    My husband and I have many similarities — definitely foodies, love travel, share a strong faith in God, etc. That said, we’re different in many ways — he LOVES to nap and watch movies, I’m in to getting up early and going on bike rides, hikes, you name it :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.28.2012

      Extended length, two-arm bear hugs before he leaves for work in the morning. THE BEST!

  4. Shannon 08.28.2012

    I just love your blog and the recipes are amazing!!

    Thank you for sharing☺

  5. Trisha 08.28.2012

    Just like I often feel you’re inside my mind with your Friday Favorites, I also often feel like we married the same man. Skateboarding, night owl, fear of heights, winter, would rather double up on meat & potatoes than save room for dessert, and let’s not forget their mutual love for individual applesauce cups. ;)
    We disagree on plenty, but couldn’t agree more in our love for our dog, beer, cuddling, eating, & plans for our future/family.

  6. amanda 08.28.2012

    My boyfriend and I agree on major things in life: money, living, family/kids, etc.. but definitely have plenty we disagree on too! I’ve made pork this same way for sandwiches, so good! Have you used a hand juicer for lemons/limes for recipes or adding to a drink? Finally bought one and seriously gets so much more juice out than squeezing by hand! Less waste I guess:)

  7. Afton 08.28.2012

    Yum! Have you ever tried Pork Loin? That’s my fav for cooking in a crock pot for shredded pork. I usually do it with BBQ sauce and then shred it right there in the crock pot.

    What’s on the end of your toothpick in the picture? Cork?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.28.2012

      I have never tried pork loin – I always thought it would come out too dry because it’s so lean. So it works for you? If so, I’d love to give it a whirl! Yep, a little cut wine cork on the end! :)

      • Afton 08.29.2012

        Yep! I usually do a plain pork loin, but you can also buy them seasoned. And a partial bottle of Cookies. That’s it! Let it cook all day and then shred right in the crock pot.

  8. Andrea 08.28.2012

    This looks so good! Love that its a slow cooker recipe too.

    My fiance and I are major opposites in the food dept. I’ll eat most anything but he is EXTREMELY picky. No sweet/savory combos for him either… among other things. Makes for some interesting kitchen adventures! I’ll have to try the tacos and cherry-peach salsa to see if it can convert him to the sweet and savory side!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.28.2012

      Yes, try and let me know. I was shocked that Ben liked it – LOVED it, actually. Very unusual for him!

  9. Debra 08.28.2012

    oh my – oh my. This looks so delish – can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for sharing this recipe!!

  10. Sara N. 08.28.2012

    Shut the front door these look so good! Anything that can come from a Crock Pot is at the top of my list.

  11. I will put a crock pot on my birthday/Christmas list just for the sake of this recipe. I am obsessed with pulled pork. and tacos. aka – I want this. :-)

  12. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl 08.28.2012

    Love chipotle in adobo! Great tip to cut the pork before cooking!!

    • Jason Vorhess 01.14.2014

      Very true

  13. Taryn 08.28.2012

    THRILLED to click on the “stuff cake in his face” link and see you at a wedding in my hometown! Completely unexpected!!

  14. Jennifer C 08.28.2012

    I made this cherry salsa (minus the peaches because I didn’t have any) about 15 mins after reading it. I made soft tacos with leftover pork butt that we smoked this past weekend. My husband was very skeptical of the cherry salsa….BUT once I told it had jalapenos in it all was okay. He ended up loving it and me too!

    I too love to jump out of planes. I skydived a lot when I was younger but I haven’t done it in years since I got married and had kids. My husband thinks I was crazy for jumping out of a perfectly good plane…those boys don’t know what kind of natural rush they are missing!

  15. colleen calhoun 08.28.2012

    My hubby n I just had a pulled pork cook off this weekend! I have made pulled pork both in the given and crock pot, and hubby did a great job in his new Xmas smoker. But now, I bought a new stove top smoker at a garage sale so we decided to have a cook off. He set up his outdoor smoker n I did my stovetop smoker. By lunch time, we were nibbling on my pork! It was amazing. Check it out….it can be used as a sreamer, broiler, smoker and????? I its made by Cameron’s…. amazing smoke taste with the wood chis.

  16. cwaltz 08.28.2012

    We are the queen and king of opposites in terms of interests! I love to read, he thinks any book worth reading will be made into a movie and THEN he’ll watch it. He loves cars, I can’t even drive. He loves guns, I’m less enthusiastic about anything that can and does kill people. Respect goes a long way though, I’ll go to the range with him and he’ll drive me to the book store. All in all, my spouse is my best friend and I’ve been lucky to have someone who has been an incredible support system for me for 2 decades. It’s rare to find someone who sees you, flaws and all, and loves you anyway.

  17. Katelyn 08.28.2012

    This sounds amazing! I’m in the middle of the move so the only cookware I have is a crockpot (and a love for Dr Pepper). Must make it soon! This could be good to bring into my new job- my boss went to the University of Iowa for undergrad, so I’m sure she would love that the recipe is from a fellow Hawkeye. PS I can’t find anyone who wants to jump out of a plane with me either haha

  18. Darien 08.29.2012

    I’ve been reading for a couple years, and I have to give you props on your photography! You have improved sooo much in your food styling and presentation, and photography. (not that you were bad! Just much improved!) Keep it up, girl! (and please eat an ear of that candy sweet Midwestern corn for me. I was stationed in Omaha for a couple years and the BEST was going to the farmers market in old town for some local corn out of the bed of a truck. )

  19. Sheryn 08.29.2012

    There are a lot of bloggers out there using fruit in strange ways, but THIS sounds absolutely perfect. Great photos as always! :)

  20. Lillian 08.29.2012

    This looks fabulous! If I wanted to make a bigger batch, do you think I could just double the recipe? I know sometimes doubling doesn’t work. This would be great for Sunday afternoon football!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.29.2012

      I think doubling would work fine! Cooking time would need to increase by several hours, and you’d need a BIG crock pot. I have a 5 quart and it was nearly filled to the top at the beginning!

  21. nicole 08.29.2012

    I think I’ll have to give this version of pulled pork a whirl. I use pork loin, and love it! I have never had it come out dry.
    As for the salsa, I’m thinking the apple salsa I have from a local orchard would be tasty on top as well. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Alex Meyer 08.29.2012

    This looks so good! I love using my crock pot, it makes things so simple & convenient, without sacrificing taste.

  23. Yum….those look so good. Too bad whenever I buy cherries or grapes or any type of berry they are gone before I can take them out of the grocery bag.

    I totally agree with the “opposites attract” statement. When you have someone in your life that may not agree or have different interests than you, it opens you up to new adventures, opportunities and overall a sense of open-mindedness. My fiancé loves politics and watching news shows while I had zero interest in it but now…..he takes interest in my Bad Girls Club and I try to follow what is happening in the world more.

  24. Meredith 08.29.2012

    Oh my word! Sooo many great recipes- there are more than i have time to make. I loved the idea of Orchard Turkey Burger yesterday and this looks even better! I’m definately going to need to make this over the weekend. Thanks!!

    My bf and I are complete opposities- he’s from the southside of Chicago, I’m from rural Iowa… that’s the beginning of our differences but we sure do love each other. I’m sooo thankful he is willing to try my many food adventures and won’t turn his nose up at some of the more healthy offerings i try. He’s a trooper!

  25. Mary 08.29.2012

    Oh my goodness; my husband and I are complete and total opposites, but somehow our same sense of humor, passion for road trips, same convictions on faith, and love of good food keep us together! I can’t wait to try this recipe! I just have to laugh when I read about you and Ben- sometimes I swear our husbands are related- ha! As always, love your blog.

  26. I’m about to plan my menu for the next two weeks and this is definitely going on the list. Thanks for noting that “sweet is for dessert” Ben liked the dish. Hubster is the same way, but I’m hoping I get a similar review from him :)

  27. ShaNae 08.29.2012

    Super excited to try the salsa! I am allergic to tomatoes (citrus) so salsa is a no no in general, but this one…horray! I love both peaches and cherries and the bit of lime used isn’t a problem. Thanks! Oh, and the pulled pork taco sounds super yummy too. :)

  28. Amy 08.29.2012

    As always, your blog continues to provide inspiration!

    By the way, do you have any ideas of what to pack in a cooler for a long car trip? I’m thinking your turkey avocado wraps, some oatmeal cookies, cheddar cheese and apples (going for seasonal here)…

  29. Your post cracked me up! My boyfriend and I are opposites in a lot of matters too, but when it comes to food, we’re pretty much spot on with each other…we’d both go wild over these tacos!! I love the peach & cherry salsa – fruity salsas are so much fun and I’ve never used peaches or cherries in a salsa recipe. Love it, going to try it, thank you, this rocks!

  30. Valentina 08.29.2012

    This is a stunning dish! And it looks unbelievable delicious — what a great flavor combination!

  31. I made a couple of cherry salsas earlier this summer and they were both sooo good. I bet it pairs perfectly with the Chipotle pulled pork!

  32. Sara 08.30.2012

    Thanks for the recipe – we’re trying this tonight :) I got my pork shoulder at Fareway – it was just under 4 pounds and only $5.65 (on sale this week!). I can’t believe the price difference compared to HyVee! Now if Fareway only had the same selection…. :)

  33. Mary Johnson 08.30.2012

    Quick question: Do you think I could start the pork in the crock pot right before I go to bed, shred it in the morning, then stick it back in the crockpot to leave on warm for a couple of hours, or would that dry it out too much? The idea is to have something ready for lunch right after church, but try to do some of the prep work the night before. Maybe if I left the pork whole? Thanks! :-)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.31.2012

      I think it’d be totally fine to cook overnight, then leave on warm in the juices for a couple hours. Shouldn’t be a problem at all!

  34. […] Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos with Cherry-Peach Salsa from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  35. Rebecca 09.01.2012

    Just tried this recipe yesterday to kick off football-watching season, and it was amazing! I usually stick to veggie soups in the crockpot and was a little nervous about dealing with that big chunk of meat, but you made it totally not intimidating. The smell when I came home from work was wonderful!

  36. J Francus 09.04.2012

    UNBELIEVABLE, and THEN SOME…made for Labor Day Weekend with friends….drop jaws all around and with me as well…sadly, cherries, just went out but frozen and thawed came in to save the day…Kristen..you, girl, rock it out of the park every single time…PLEAAAAASSSEEE do not stop your recipes….you are the best

  37. Amy 09.04.2012

    I made these tonight and they were delicious! I wanted to eat the salsa with a spoon…ok, I did eat the salsa with a spoon. Yummy!

  38. Nina 09.09.2012

    Made it today and I will definitely make it again! My stomach and my husband thought it was delicious! Love the spice from the chipotle peppers. Possibly the best pulled pork I’ve ever had!

  39. […] recipe is from this awesome site Iowa Girl Eats. It’s namesake – Kristin – loves cooking and eating and running as well (the latter to […]

  40. patty 12.26.2012

    The best!

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  42. […] 29. Pork Tacos No need to slave over a hot grill to make barbeque-worthy pulled pork. For this recipe, season the meat, stick it in a slow cooker overnight and wait for the magic (err…the pulled pork, that is). Add salsa, lettuce, guacamole, and any other toppings and wrap everything up in a flour tortilla for some showstopping soft tacos. […]

  43. […] Pork Tacos No need to slave over a hot grill to make barbeque-worthy pulled pork. For this recipe, season the […]

  44. samantha 02.13.2013

    Looks DELICIOUS but I’m a little nervous…doesn’t the sugar in the bbq sauce and soda burn when in the crockpot for 8 hours? The only time I’ve done BBQ in the crockpot was with chicken and it was charcoal by the time I got home.

  45. AJ 03.23.2013

    I want to try this recipe tonight.. It looks do good… But I have a question… Is the cheesecloth necessary?? Bc I don’t have that

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.26.2013

      If you have a coffee filter, that would work too, or even just a fine mesh sieve. You just want to get rid of as much fat as possible!

  46. […] 29. Pork Tacos: No need to slave over a hot grill to make BBQ-worthy pulled pork. For this recipe, season the meat, stick it in a slow cooker overnight, and wait for the magic (err, the pulled pork, that is). Add salsa, lettuce, guacamole, and any other toppings and wrap everything up in a flour tortilla for some showstopping soft tacos. […]

  47. […] are usually the ones that stick around as a new family favorite. This recipe has been adapted from Iowa Girl Eats so if you would like to check that out you […]

  48. Kristen 08.08.2013

    I just put it all in my crock pot. I hope my husband likes it! I’ve never used these peppers before. I bought the can and just put a few on top.

  49. Rebecca 10.14.2013

    This was so good! The cherry peach salsa really made the dish. Tip: since cherries are out of season, I used plums and it was still super delicious!

  50. […] into Whole Foods (instead of my usual Publix) in between my run and barre to get a few things for a recipe I am making today. If you ever want to see an intense, judgmental stare, ask a Whole Foods employee […]

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