Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans

Cinco de Mayo is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by making some delicious Mexican food at home? I lived in Arizona for eight years, so Cinco de Mayo is something that I’m used to celebrating with good food, good beer, and good friends. Unlike what many people might think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day (that day is celebrated on September 16th). Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the Mexican militia’s defeat of the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is most vigorously celebrated in the state of Puebla in Mexico, where it is a day to celebrate Mexican culture through its history, music, food, and more. It’s a very festive holiday in the United States as well, much like St. Patrick’s Day is for Irish-Americans.

I decided that I wanted to make some tasty, yet easy and accessible, Mexican food for this particular holiday. One of my all time favorite chefs it the incomparable Rick Bayless. If you’re a big fan of Top Chef, like I am, you watched him win Top Chef Masters last year, and he definitely deserved it. I went straight to him for some ideas on what to make, and I found a recipe for pork tinga made in the crock pot. I was very surprised to see a Top Chef using a crock pot, but I was also really happy, because it’s been really hot here in New York and I wasn’t too keen on running the stove and oven for hours at a time. This recipe is a bit unusual, but still recognizable and includes ingredients that everyone has access to. The unusual part for me was the addition of potatoes, which I had never put in a crock pot with taco fillings before. I really liked the texture that it added to the pork; you could either leave them whole or shred them up with the pork. The pork is cooked with onions, tomatoes, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and, of course, the potatoes. The pork will smell absolutely amazing and your family will be quite pleased with the results, I’m sure. This is one of the less spicy Mexican dishes that I’ve made in a while, as well, so if you’re looking for some extra heat, add in some more chilies or some red pepper flakes, along with a bit of hot sauce on your tacos, if you like. I also made some garlicky mashed black beans to spread on the tacos, which were a perfect accompaniment. The pork comes out so beautifully tender and tasty that you’ll definitely go back for seconds and thirds. My husband and I even made breakfast burritos with the pork the next morning. Bust out your crock pot and have a happy Cinco de Mayo!

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Your ingredients.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Sear your pork on both sides over high heat until browned. Place it in your crock pot with your quartered small red potatoes.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
In a large bowl, combine your sliced onions, garlic, tomatoes, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and salt.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Mix everything up well.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Add the onion mixture into the crock pot with the pork and potatoes. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Start to make the beans when you’re about ready to eat.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Satue the garlic in a small pot for a minute or so over medium-low heat until fragrant. Add in the beans and stir until warmed, then add a tablespoon or two of water and mash with the back of a large spoon until they’re a spreadable consistency.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Shred your meat with two forks, mixing up everything in the crock pot with it. Drain a little of the juices into another bowl if needed (you don’t want to serve the meat with too much of it).

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Warm up a flour taco, and spread with some sour cream and the mashed black beans.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Place some of the pork tinga in the taco and top with some queso fresco or other fresh shredded cheese.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Enjoy with a cold drink!

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Pork Tacos
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt (I had one with a bone, but boneless is fine, too)
  • 4 to 5 medium (about ¾ pound total) small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 2 to 3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped (they will be canned in the Hispanic foods section of the grocery store; I used 4 chilies because I like mine spicy!)
  • 4 teaspoons chipotle canning sauce (I just used whatever sauce stuck to my chilies and then a bit more from the can)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Mexican queso fresco or other cheese of choice, grated
  • sour cream
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and diced (optional, I didn't because my husband hates avocados)
  • warmed corn or flour tortillas
Garlicky Mashed Black Beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium black (or other color) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Pork Tacos
  1. Heat the oil in a stovetop-rated slow cooker liner over medium-high heat. If your slow cooker liner isn’t made from a material that can be used on a stovetop, use a very large non-stick skillet, as I did. When the oil is very hot, add the pork until the meat has browned, about 6 on each side. Turn off the heat and if you’re using a skillet, transfer the meat and its juices into the slow cooker. Add the quartered red potatoes in with the pork.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the onions, garlic, tomatoes, chipotles chilies, adobo sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and ½ teaspoon of salt and mix to combine. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and cover. Cook for 5-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
  3. When ready, drain the sauce from the meat and place in a bowl. Shred the pork apart with two forks, along with all of the seasonings and vegetables, taste, and season, if needed. Serve on the tortillas with the mashed black beans (recipe follows), sour cream, and cheese. Serves 6-8.
Garlicky Mashed Black Beans
  1. In a small pot, heat the oil over medium. Add in the minced garlic and stir for a minute, then add the beans. Use an old-fashioned potato masher or back of a large spoon to mash the beans into a coarse puree. Remove from the heat and stir in enough water to give the beans an easily spreadable consistency, usually about 2 tablespoons. Taste and season with salt, usually about ¼ teaspoon. Spread onto warm flour or corn tortillas and top with your filling of choice.


P.S. I just want to give a big thanks to Ian Leino! I entered a drawing on his website and won this shirt for my husband! He loves it, and so do I, because, as you know if you’ve been reading my site for a while, we’re huge LOST fans. You can enter to win the shirt here.

Pork Tinga Tacos with Mashed Black Beans

28 Responses

  1. Memoria says:

    These tacos look great. Even though Bayless isn’t Mexican, I trust his recipes most of the time because he really respects the Mexican culture. I love how excited he is about authentic, Mexican food.

    • Sydney says:

      Memoria: Thanks! It’s so much fun to listen to him talk about food because he does get so excited about it! I love his show.

  2. Ben says:

    $5.80 for a 3-lb pork butt?! Are you sure you live in NYC? =)

  3. Tina says:

    This looks so good! I love Mexican food .Hope I can find the chilies at my local store . Thank You for sharing another great recipe!

  4. Anthony says:

    I could eat Mexican three times a day and pork is one of my favorite meats, so this looks delicious. Not surprising, since I’m a big Rick Bayless fan, too. One of my goals is to get to Chicago to try a couple of his restaurants.

    “…because my husband hates avocados.”

    I have a hard time even comprehending that. :)

    • Sydney says:

      Anthony: I can’t believe he hates avocados, either! I think it’s a texture thing with him. He will eat them in sushi, but that’s about it. I haven’t been to a Bayless restaurant, either, but it’s a dream of mine! I’m a big fan of Mexican, as well; to me, it’s the ultimate comfort food.

  5. Jen says:

    Oh wow, that looks really good. Bookmarking this one for sure.

  6. Laura L. says:

    My mouth is watering right now. I’m definitely making this. Maybe not for Cinco de Mayo, but soon!!!

  7. Juliana says:

    Sydney, what a great taco…the pictures as so tempting…yummie!

  8. Mary says:

    I JUST made a pork loin in the crock pot on Saturday. Water, red wine, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper. It was delicious, but I will definitely be making this soon. (Although not on Cinco de Mayo cause it’s my birthday!)

    My boyfriend and I absolutely love Rick Bayless. We’ve been to Frontera twice in the past year!

    • Sydney says:

      Mary: I’m so jealous that you’ve been to Frontera! I want to go so badly. Maybe my husband and I will be able to make it out to Chicago next year. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Deanna says:

    I absolutely adore Rick Bayless’ carnitas recipe. It might be the easiest thing ever but it always gets rave reviews. I almost never make Mexican food because it is so easy for me to get fresh, authentic Mexican food for way cheaper than I could make it at home. (I am never leaving Southern CA). I love making homemade margarita mix for Cinco de Mayo though.

    • Sydney says:

      Deanna: Where in Southern CA do you live? I lived in Irvine when I was a kid, but my parents were far more into Japanese and Chinese food than Mexican, so that’s what we ate in lieu of Mexican. I got my fair share of it in Arizona, though! I haven’t tried the Bayless carnitas recipe yet, but I will now!

  10. mixbakestir says:

    Yum and yum! I have this Rick B. cookbook but have never made this recipe. Thanks for sharing and I cannot wait to try these.

  11. Lea Ann says:

    I saw this photo and description on Savory Sights and said “this has got to be a Bayless recipe”. I’m a huge Bayless fan, have made many of his taco recipes but this one has eluded my radar. Must make this soon. Fabulous photo.

  12. Angela Mears says:

    This looks awesome! I’ve been looking for a pork taco recipe. Never would’ve dreamed up the Worcestershire.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I totally just made this tonight! I was missing a few ingredients (2 more cans of chipotle peppers) and added a dash of hotsauce and some red pepper flakes because I didn’t know if it would be spicy enough. Oh it was spicy enough alright! Note to self: ex nay on the red peppers flakes next time hahaha

    Other than that it was DELICIOUS!!!!

    • Sydney says:

      Jennifer: I definitely tend to like things on the very spicy side, having lived in Arizona, and I forget sometimes that not everyone craves that kind of heat in their food! I’m glad you liked it despite the spiciness – although it was 2-3 chilies, not 2-3 cans, I hope that you meant just chilies and not whole cans!

  14. Jill Anderson says:

    It’s in my crockpot now– looking forward to dinner this evening. I’m a huge fan of Mexican food having grown up in Colorado. Now living in VA where everyone believes that South American Food is Mexican food. Crazy.

    • Sydney says:

      Jill: That’s so funny! It’s strange how everyone assumes that Latin is automatically Mexican; far from it! I prefer Mexican myself, but I grew up with it and there’s no comparison as far as I’m concerned! I’m glad that you could do this in your crock pot!

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