Achiote & apple pork tacos with choko slaw

Achiote & apple pork tacos with choko slaw

Chris Middleton

Achiote paste is a condiment that is well worth seeking out – it’s one of the truly unique flavours of Mexico. This dish takes advantage of its affinity for sour fruits. Here a small pork shoulder is slow-cooked to fork tender then bound with a sauce similar to the lengendary Pork hock pibil and accompanied by a fresh slaw tossed in a lovely savoury apple dressing.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 1.5kg boneless pork shoulder
300ml apple juice
2 heaped teaspoons chipotle in adobo, (see Latin Larder)
200g chopped tomatoes
1 small bunch sage or tarragon
250ml Achiote relish
250ml chicken stock
12 Tortilla dough, homemade masa flour tortillas
or 12 see method for ingredients, store-bought tortillas
1 1/2 tablespoons agave syrup, (see Latin Larder)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
habanero hot sauce, to taste


Quantity Ingredient
2 apples, cored and diced
100ml cider vinegar
3 tablespoons agave syrup
100ml apple juice
1 small handful finely shredded sage or tarragon
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
200ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced


Quantity Ingredient
2 peeled choko, finely sliced or shredded
1 fennel bulb or young white cabbage, finely shaved
1 white salad onion, finely sliced
3 pink lady or granny smith apples
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley


Quantity Ingredient
1 small bunch radishes, finely sliced
100g pickled jalapenos, sliced
or Mexican-style pickles, preferably homemade


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat, add the pork to the pot and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes, until some of the fat has rendered. Add the apple juice, chipotle, tomatoes and sage, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened and reduced by about half. Add the achiote relish, pour over the stock, cover with a lid and cook over low heat for at least 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and beginning to fall apart. Leave the pork to cool, preferably overnight, reserving half the cooking liquor.
  2. While the pork is cooling, prepare the dressing. Add the apples to a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until softened and beginning to colour. Add the cider vinegar, and agave and reduce until thick and syrupy, then pour over the apple juice and simmer until reduced by half.
  3. Transfer the apple mixture to a blender or food processor, add the herbs and mustard and blend, adding a little olive oil in a thin stream as you go, until the sauce is smooth and glossy. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt. Set aside.
  4. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat. Lightly spray with oil and briefly fry the tortillas to warm them. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in a warm damp tea towel and set aside to keep warm.
  5. Add the reserved cooking liquor to a saucepan set over low heat. Stir in the agave syrup, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened and reduced.
  6. Meanwhile, using a pair of forks, pull the cooled pork meat into fine shreds, removing any excess fat. Add the shredded meat to a roasting tin then gradually pour over the reduced sauce, stirring with a fork to ensure the pork is coated evenly. Add the cumin and smoked paprika and season with salt and habanero hot sauce to taste.
  7. To serve, toss the dressing and slaw ingredients together in a bowl. Arrange the warm tortillas onto serving plates, top with the pulled pork mixture and salad and scatter over the radish slices and pickled jalapeños.
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