These tacos are a regular item served by the Street Food Institute’s trucks in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The pork for the tacos can be roasted a day ahead, or you can use a similar amount of leftover roast pork from another meal. Dried chiles de árbol can be found in the Mexican section of many supermarkets and at Latino markets, or can be ordered from


  • 1 3⁄4-pound section of pork shoulder
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces red cabbage, sliced thin 


  • 10 fresh medium-size tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 dried chiles de árbol
  • 5 plump garlic cloves
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • 12 fresh 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 6 ounces queso fresco or Cotija cheese, crumbled or grated
  • 12 fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 2 limes, sliced into 6 wedges each

Serves 6 (Makes 12 Generous Tacos)


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Season meat on all sides with salt and pepper, then arrange fattiest side up in a small roasting pan. Cook for 1 hour.
  3. Reduce temperature to 300° F and cook until very tender, with an internal temperature of about 180° F.
  4. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred meat, discarding excess fat and bone. Refrigerate if not using shortly.


  1. Toss tomatillos and scallions in the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Char them over a hot grill or griddle or a stove burner until well blackened. Tomatillos will just be starting to break down and look like they are going to pop. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.
  2. Toast chiles de árbol and garlic in a dry sauté pan until starting to blacken but not burned. They should be very fragrant. Transfer chiles to a bowl of warm water and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove chiles from the water and puree in a food processor with the garlic until it forms a paste.
  3. Add tomatillo-scallion mixture and remaining ingredients and process until smooth. If it is too thick to drizzle, thin it out with a bit of the water the chiles soaked in.
  4. Season to taste. Salsa should be pretty spicy.


  1. Sauté shredded pork on a griddle or in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until warmed through, with a few crispy edges.
  2. Warm tortillas on a griddle or dry sauté pan.
  3. Assemble tacos, layering pork, salsa, cheese, and cabbage. Top each with a cilantro sprig and a slice of lime. Serve right away.

(Recipe courtesy of Chef David Sellers and the Street Food Institute.)