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5-Spice Paleo Pulled Pork Tacos

February 8th, 2014
5spice pulled pork

Chinese 5-Spice Paleo Pulled Pork-Butt Tacos – Dutch Oven / Slow Cooker recipe
One of the ways we keep things interesting in the kitchen is by constantly looking for cuts of meat at the farmer’s market that we are unfamiliar with, which pushes us to try new foods, methods of cooking, spices, and all kinds of other fun stuff.

If you read our blog you know we LOVE pork, as long as it came from a reliable (clean, local, appropriately fed) source, so I was excited to try this cut.

What happened after exceeded my wildest dreams.. This is literally one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and have heard the same from the lucky few people who were at our home to eat it with us!

The pork is amazing by itself, but when added to the plantain tortillas from our Peking Duck post, the result was off the hook.

Ideally you do this in a Dutch oven so that the liquids circulate and braise the meat as it cooks, but a slow cooker or even a big cast iron pan with a tight lid could also work.

This Recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, and absolutely original!
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 4 with leftovers

Ingredients for the pork butt:
-2-4lb pasture-raised pork butt / Boston butt – Can be bone in or not, we tried both and they were equally amazing. Bone in pictured.
– 2 yellow onions, sliced
-3 garlic cloves, sliced
-1 knob ginger, finely chopped
– 1.5 tbsp of Chinese Five Spice (or enough to coat)
-1 tsp Paprika (optional for nightshade free)
-1 tsp Cayenne pepper (optional for nightshade free)
-1 knob grass fed butter (swap for ghee or bacon fat if DF)
-Sea Salt & Cracked black pepper to taste
-2 cups beef broth (ideally home made!)
-1 apple, cored and rough chopped
-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 cup filtered water
-1 tomato (optional for nightshade free)
-1.5 cups sliced red cabbage
-1 scallion

Ingredients for plantain tortillas
1 large plantain
2 eggs – 1 whole egg, and just the egg whites from the 2nd egg
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp lime juce
1 tsp chili powder (optional for nightshade free)
salt and pepper

Making the Pork Butt:
Step 1
.Preheat your oven to 300F.

Step 2. Unwrap the pork and pat it dry with paper towels.

Bring the pork butt to room temperature before seasoning – Apply your salt and pepper liberally, then add the five spice, paprika and cayenne.

Pat down with paper towels again, getting it as dry as possible will help get a better sear on the outside.

Step 3. Once the pork is seasoned get all your veggies chopped while it’s coming to temperature.

Rough chop your apple, slice the onion, cabbage, ginger and garlic, but keep them separate as they’re going in at different times.

Step 4. Get your dutch oven up to medium high heat with the top off.

Give it a few minutes to really heat up, then add your knob of butter to coat the bottom evenly.

You may have some smoke here!

Step 5. Time to sear the pork.

Using tongs, place one side of the pork in the dutch oven, and let it sit for 3 minutes to brown.

Repeat on all sides, using tongs to turn it.

This is important to add flavor and texture!

5 Spice Paleo Pork Butt

Step 6. Once browned on all sides remove the pork and place on a plate or separate pan to hang out while you brown the veggies.

Start with the onions, and allow them to brown for 3-5 minutes.

Once they start to get some color you can add in the chopped apples, ginger, red cabbage and finally garlic.

Continue to stir the ingredients so they don’t stick or burn.

Don’t be afraid to add more butter if the bottom of the pan is looking dry!

5 Spice Paleo Pulled Pork

Step 7. Add the pork butt back to the Dutch oven on top of the veggies, and add your liquids.

Depending on the size of your pork butt and the dutch oven, this should bring the water level up to where it almost covers the meat, but not quite.

Consider tossing in another pinch of salt here.

Step 8. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover with lid and place into your preheated oven.

Step 9. Braise the pork butt for 3 ½ hours or until you can easily shred it with a couple forks.

Making the Plantain Tortillas:
Step 1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and mix until the texture is smooth and creamy.

Step 2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper (6 tortillas on each baking sheet).

Paleo Plantain Tortillas

Step 3. Cook at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the edges start to turn a nice golden brown.

Cook these towards the end while the pork is finishing so they’re nice and warm when you eat it all together.

Shred the pork with a couple of forks, and serve on the tortillas along with chopped tomato and scallions.

Add hot sauce or guacamole if you’d like as well, it would be delicious.

5 Spice Paleo Pulled Pork Tacos

Recipe & Photos by Chris Clark & Susan Tie,

Need more awesome Paleo Recipes? Our friend George Bryant’s new book has over 200 of them!

Go here to check it out.

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5-Spice Paleo Pulled Pork Tacos
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4 Responses

  1. marlene koyama says:

    why can’t I print out this recipes?

  2. Julie says:

    what color should the plantains be? Green, yellow or black? What do you like to put on top of them?

  3. Eva says:

    This is such an awesome looking recipe. Thank you.

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