Skill level

Average: 3.8 (42 votes)


  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground chipotle chillies
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.5 kg boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • condiments such as green sauce, roasted tomatillo salsa, avocado salsapepper rum, lime wedges, coriander and hot sauce, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Fresh corn tortillas are incomparable, so do try to get your hands on some. In their absence, white corn tortillas are available at most supermarkets. This recipe makes plenty of pork for another day as well. The meat, once shredded, freezes really well.

Preheat oven to 140°C. Combine spices, garlic and 2 tsp salt in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over pork.

Place onion in an ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Place the pork on top, add 500 ml water and place in the oven for 4 hours or until pork is falling apart. Towards the end of cooking, check to make sure the water hasn't all evaporated; you want just a tiny bit of juice so the bottom doesn't burn.

Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred pork with your hands, discarding any connective tissue or skin. Massage any fat and cooking juices into the meat, and rub in the onion, too, which should be soft enough to fall apart. Season with salt and extra spices if needed.

Meanwhile, warm tortillas by dry-frying in a hot frying pan, turning twice, until soft. Keep warm in a stack under a moist tea towel on a warm plate.

Serve tortillas with the shredded pork, green sauce, tomatillo salsa, avocado salsa, pepper rum, lime wedges, coriander and hot sauce but whatever you do, don't put grated cheddar or sour cream on the table.


• Ground chipotle chillies are available from Herbies Spices (, Monterey Mexican Foods ( and Fireworks Foods (
Fresh corn tortillas are available from Fireworks Foods (


Photography by Alan Benson.