I’ve been trying out vegetarian taco recipes recently, but this time I just really wanted something meaty and dripping with sauce. After I first had this coconut pork stew recipe from The New York Times, I knew it would work great in a taco shell. I adapted the recipe to a slow-cooker version so I could eat these tacos every day of the week. Just a few selected toppings - David Lebovitz's pickled radishes, mango, and cilantro - are all it takes to balance the flavors and textures of the pork and make these tacos sing. —Risa B
boneless pork butt (fat trimmed), or pork stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
kosher salt, more to taste
dried yellow or green split peas
large yellow onion, finely chopped
cloves garlic, minced
serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced
can or package diced tomatoes
coconut milk, solids and liquid whisked together
very ripe mango, diced
cilantro, rough chop
corn tortillas or bib lettuce leaves
In This Recipe
In a large bowl, combine the pork with the cumin, kosher salt, garam masala and cayenne. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Cover the split peas with boiling water to cover by 2 inches, and let soak overnight. Drain.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 8 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Add cinnamon stick, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for 5 minutes, until the jalapeño is tender. Add the pork and any juices from the bowl and sauté until lightly browned all over, about 7 minutes.
Transfer everything to a crock pot and stir in tomatoes, split peas and coconut milk and season with more salt, to taste. The pork should just be covered by liquid. If it’s not, add a little water until it is.
Cook over low for at least 6 hours, until pork is tender and falling apart easily
Slice the radishes into ¼ inch thick rounds.
In a saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat.
Pack the radishes in a clean pint-sized jar and pour the hot liquid over them.
Cover and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Top a corn tortilla (ideally lightly grilled) with the pork mixture, radishes, mango, and cilantro