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Pork Machaca (Tender Pulled Mexican Pork)

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“This is used to make burritos, tacos, or even a Mexican style pot roast. Although it makes a lot, it freezes well; and the broth makes a nice base for posole soup. Quantities are inexact but strict adherence to the recipe is not that crucial; I make this in restaurants and just "go by eye". Props to GaylaJ for shaming me into posting my first recipe here!”
4hrs 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (4 -5 lb) pork butt (about 4-5 lbs, but up to 10 is fine too)
  • 2 quarts water (enough to cover meat by about 2/3)
  • 2 12 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder (Knorr is my favorite)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 20 whole garlic cloves (or 2 tbl. granulated, but fresh will work better)
  • 4 whole jalapenos, more can be used for a spicier final dish (or 2 small cans diced green chiles, or 1 small can jalepenos-not pickled)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano (dry leaf..never use ground!)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and simmer until fork tender-this can take from 3-4 hours.
  2. Can be made in a crock pot also-decrease liquid by about 1/2, bouillon powder by 1/3, and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or until tender as above).
  3. When tender, remove from heat and allow meat to cool in the broth until cool enough to handle (this will keep the meat moist).
  4. Shred (or "pull") either with forks or by hand.
  5. Place in storage container and add some of the broth to moisten; refrigerate until needed.
  6. Reheat either in microwave, or in saucepan; use a little of the juice to keep it moist.
  7. For the Mexican-flavored pot roast, don't shred-slice fairly thick (about 1/2"), and make a gravy by thickening some of the juice with either cornstarch or roux (sorry, you'll have to thicken by sight; tough to give an exact quantity for that); serve with plain steamed rice/boiled potatoes and a vegetable-broccoli and/or carrots come to mind first. Leftovers make great open-faced hot sandwiches.
  8. For soup, take broth and add some onions, carrots, celery, an extra bit of canned diced tomato (you can use almost anything for veggies depending on what you like/have on hand), some of the pork meat and posole (or hominy); simmer until tender and add shredded cabbage; cook another 15 minutes. Serve with hot tortillas and a salad for a complete meal.
  9. Can also be made as beef machaca by using bottom (outside) round, chuck, or brisket; replace chicken bouillon powder with beef.

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