Gabbie’s Favorite Tacos

There are few things I love more than a giant taco feast. I went to college in Northwest Denver at Regis University. It was a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood with amazing restaurants. Little mom and pop joints, tamale restaurants with a line out the door, $0.99 taco specials, drive-thru late night breakfast burritos. It was definitely all concentrated in our Highlands neighborhood back then and we took advantage.

Now that we live in Lincoln Park, and we have a whole troupe to get out the door, I find it easier to make tacos at home. Once I started making homemade tortillas, the game was definitely upped and we almost exclusively eat tacos at home.


Gabbie’s Mexican Dry Rub

  • 6 tbsp. vahlrhona cocoa or other high-quality dutch cocoa
  • 6 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tbsp. chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (omit for Whole30)
  • 2 tbsp. salt

This dry-rub is amazing! I use it in my in my Whole30 Creamy Chicken Chili but I omit the sugar to keep it compliant. If you would like to turn this pork shoulder into a Whole30 compliant meal leave out the sugar, and eat over lettuce or cauli-rice like a burrito bowl instead of tortillas.


Pork Shoulder How-To

  • 3-4lb. pork shoulder
  • dry rub above
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 yellow onion

I used the InstantPot in the video above, but you can do this without pressure in a dutch oven on the stove top or in a slow cooker. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a browning function you can sear the meat in a cast iron on the stove top or you can skip that step!

  1. Get your pork shoulder on a small sheet pan and rub it like crazy with the dry rub
  2. Turn your instant pot on “Sauté” and brown the meat
  3. After the meat is browned on both sides, add garlic, peppers and, the onion. You can throw this stuff in whole if you are feeling lazy, just cut the oven in half first. It’s rustic!
  4. Set InstantPot to manual “HIGH” pressure for 90 minutes. When the 90 minutes is up, let it slow release and check the meat. If it’s not shredding easily with tongs as you try to pick it up, try another 10 minutes on manual high. For slow cooking in a crockpot or on the stove top this could take 6-8 hours depending on the size of your pork shoulder.
  5. Shred the meat on a sheet pan. At this time you can discard the peppers and onion or you can puree into the juices in the InstantPot. If you want to skim some fat off you can, I leave it because that’s the good stuff! Return the meat to the sauce and coat.


Making Tortillas

I use Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina to make my tortillas and I follow the directions on the bag for making the tortilla dough. I do like to add lime sometimes, and I play around with consistency, but I think that the proportions on the package are just right! The full tutorial is in the video above!

I have this tortilla press that I bought on Amazon, and it’s such a fun way to include kids in the meal! Both my kids love smashing the dough and making tortillas with me.



I serve our tacos simply with white onion and cilantro. Guacamole is a great accoutrement, and a definite must if I am making this protein into a burrito bowl! An avocado crema would be equally delicious on these tacos, if you are in the mood to get creative!