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Berbere-Spiced Pork Tacos

All we need in this life of sin is berbere-spiced pork tacos from Kiano's Afri-Cali Kitchen. Think tender braised pulled pork shoulder with your option of pickled onions, cucumber, or an herb sauce. Go with all three if you dare; we like options over here.

What makes these tacos so bomb?

The spice: Berbere, the Ethiopian spice blend with a sweet smoky flavor, is what makes the pork so delicious.

The pork: Crispy outside & tender inside, slow-roasted in your favorite brew. (Pro tip: Use half a brew for the recipe and enjoy the rest for yourself. *wink*)

The toppings: Tangy pickled onion, crisp pickled cucumber, and a creamy fresh herb sauce.

Need we say more?


Pulled Pork:

2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks

Kosher salt, to taste

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tablespoons berbere spice

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 bay leaves

1 large orange

6 ounces lager-style beer

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Pickled Red Onion:

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 bay leaf

Pickled Cucumber:

3 small thick-skinned cucumbers

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon coriander seed

Handful fresh dill, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

2 cups water

Herb Yogurt Sauce:

Handful fresh mint

Handful fresh parsley

Handful fresh coriander

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup lime juice

2/3 cup whole milk yogurt

For the Tacos:

8 warm tortillas to serve (corn, flour, or crispy shell)

2 small avocados, thinly sliced

1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Pulled Pork:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

  2. Season all sides of the pork generously with salt and black pepper.

  3. Heat a braising pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Working in batches, sear the pork on all sides until a deep golden brown. Set browned pork pieces on a plate.

  4. Lower the heat to medium. To the same pan, add the onions are garlic, cooking until the onions have softened, about 5-7 minutes.

  5. Season with berbere, cumin seeds, oregano, and bay leaves. Squeeze in the juice of both orange halves and pour in the beer. Use your cooking spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

  6. Add the pork back to the pan in a single layer, cover, and cook in the oven until it easily pulls apart about 2 1/2-3 hours.

  7. Remove pork from the oven and sprinkle with brown sugar. Use 2 forks to lightly shred, being sure to leave bite-sized pieces of meat. Toss the pork well to coat it in the braising liquid. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Pickled Cucumber:

  1. In a saucepan bring vinegar, water, and salt to a simmer.

  2. Add seeds and dill to the bottom of a jar.

  3. Add in cucumber, cover with liquid, then cool to room temperature.

  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pickled Red Onion:

  1. In a saucepan, bring vinegar, water, bay leaves, sugar, and salt to a simmer.

  2. Pour hot water over sliced red onion. Drain and transfer onion to a pickling jar.

  3. Cover with boiled liquid, then cool to room temperature & refrigerate before use.

Herb Yogurt Sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.

  2. Taste & add salt as needed.


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