Chipotle Pulled Pork Nachos is a cheesy, flavor filled nacho recipe that features a slow braised chipotle pepper pulled pork and delicious homemade tortilla chips! Garnish with salsa, jalapenos, and cheese! These Chipotle Pulled Pork Nachos will have your tastebuds swooning!
I cannot tell you how many times I've made nachos as a quick Friday night recipe. They're fun, easy, everybody loves them, and it's a constantly reliable recipe. You can't beat it. Last Friday, I decided I wanted nachos but didn't have any ground beef that was thawed out. I did however have some pork shoulder and decided to get creative.
On my last grocery run, I decided to pick up some canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. We use these often so I picked up a few. I pulled my pork shoulder out of the refrigerator and made a delicious marinade with lime juice, orange juice, and a few spices. The pork shoulder sat in the refrigerator for an hour and then I seared it, added in some crushed tomatoes and chipotle peppers and let is braise in the oven for about 3 ½ hours. Oh, and while you're here, you have to check out these Mexican Street Corn Nachos and these Loaded Fresh Vegetable Sheet Pan Nachos!
The end result was epic. A tender, flavorful, smoky, delicious piece of pork shoulder shredded into pulled pork. I mean, you could cut this with a spoon! Not to mention, the gravy that was in the pan from all of the juices of the meat was phenomenal. Truly.
Although 3 hours cooking time isn't the fastest recipe, it's SO worth the wait. Hence as to why I made this Chipotle Pulled Pork Nachos recipe on a Friday. I was relaxed with a glass of wine, a good movie, and was completely content vegging out on my couch after a ridiculously long week at work. That's a story for another time, but you get the gist.
Pork Shoulder: This recipe calls for three pounds of pork shoulder. It's fairly inexpensive and is sold in large quantities at the grocery store. I cut three pounds off of the shoulder and then vacuum sealed and froze the remaining meat for another time. Be sure to cut off the fatty layer on top of the shoulder. This helps the seasonings and marinade fully penetrate the meat and yield a more flavorful result.
Seasonings: The seasonings in this Chipotle Pulled Pork Nachos recipe is what make it so special. This recipe calls for cumin, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika (my favorite), salt and pepper (of course), onion powder, parsley, chili powder, and oregano. All of these flavors come together and really shine!
Garlic: Because every recipe needs garlic. Duh! lol
Oranges and Limes: Have you ever seen Salt.Fat.Acid.Heat? Samin Nosrat goes to Mexico for the acid portion of the show and talks about how acid can really tenderize meat. She follows a few home cooks and chefs and learns their culinary styles, a lot of which consists of citrus - an acid. This recipe is no different, I used oranges and limes to tenderize the pork and provide a nice sweet yet acidic flavor. It works, trust me!
Crushed Tomatoes: For added acidity and flavor!
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: These chipotle peppers are the star of the show. They add a beautiful smoky flavor and tiny tiny bit of heat. Don't worry - if you don't like spicy food, these will not burn your mouth!
First I marinaded the pork in the citrus and seasonings. Ideally, you should marinate the meat for about an hour, but if you want to take a little shortcut, 30 minutes will do. It's long enough to get the process started. Then I seared the meat in a large dutch oven and then added in the chipotle peppers and the crushed tomatoes.
Pop that dutch oven into the oven and braised for 3 ½-4 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
The next step is completely optional. I made my own tortilla chips. Don't be impressed, all I did was cut tortillas into triangles and deep fried them for about 3-5 minutes, until it got toasty. Honestly, I prefer homemade tortilla chips. They're more crunchy and sturdy... I find that they cup the cheese really nicely when melted together with the nachos. You can absolutely buy store bought tortilla chips for this recipe. This is my preference so do what works best for you!
So here's where you can personalize this dish to your liking. Me personally? I like sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, and a quality salsa.Oh and of course cheese, Copious amounts of cheese. Did I say cheese? Yes, because these Chipotle Pulled Pork Nachos go exceptionally well with cheese. I used the Mexican Cheese Blend that they sell at the market for a nice mix of cheeses and a quality cheese pull!
However, you can add whatever you like. This includes but isn't limited to guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, beans, corn, chopped onions etc. The list goes on!
And while you're here, you've got to try my Mexican spaghetti for a delicious meal!
A lot of people say it's cheddar. What do I think personally? I enjoy a mix of cheddar, queso quesadilla cheese, asadero, and monterey jack cheese. These are the cheeses that are in my favorite Mexican blend from Lucerne. They sell it at my local Safeway so that's what I've been using and I really like it. It's simple and easy and tastes great. And the cheese pulls are epic!
Tip - store everything separately. Do not mix the nachos and the pork and the cheese and the toppings and expect it to be fresh the next day. It'll be super soggy. Once everything is together, there's really no going back. However, if you have leftovers from the pork, store the pork in a airtight container. Store the tortilla chips in a ziploc bag. Also, store all of the toppings in either airtight containers or the containers in which they came in so long as they can be sealed.
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