Pulled Pork Nachos
Pork shoulder, coated with a rub and cooked to tender perfection in the crock pot makes a great ingredient for nachos. Combined with homemade cheese sauce and guacamole these nachos are a special treat that friends and family are sure to love.
All the components can be made a day in advance of your get-together and easily assembled when it's time to serve.
For the pork:
- 2-1/2 lbs pork shoulder
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional or sub very finely ground coffee)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or sugar)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
For the guacamole:
- 2 ripe Haas avocados
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Jalapeño pepper sauce
For the cheese sauce:
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup whole milk, plus more as needed
- Hot sauce to taste (we used Frank's Red Hot)
For the nachos:
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Sour cream
- One 13-ounce bag corn tortilla chips
Prepare the pork:
- Place the chopped onion in the bottom of a slow cooker and add the chicken broth.
- Combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper and espresso powder (or very finely ground coffee) in a small bowl. Coat the pork on all sides with the mixture, set it on top of the onions, cover and cook until fork tender, 6 to 7 hours on the low setting.
- Transfer the pork to a cutting board, trim off the excess fat and discard. Using two forks, pull the pork into shreds and give them a rough chop to make it easier to scatter over the chips.
- Combine the ketchup, chipotle peppper sauce, agave nectar and Worcestershire in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Add the pork and combine well. Note: The pork will not be heavily sauced, just lightly coated.
- Make-ahead tip: At this point, the pork can be refrigerated for later use. To reheat, place in a small casserole dish, cover tightly and bake in a 300°F for 30 minutes.
Prepare the guacamole:
- Slice the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pit, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place it in a mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, garlic and mayonnaise and mash the mixture with a fork until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the jalapeño pepper sauce to taste. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more as desired.
- Make-ahead tip: To store the guacamole place it in a suitably sized container with a tight fitting lid. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap directly onto the top of the guacamole, then seal with the container's lid. Stir before serving.
Prepare the cheese sauce:
- Place the cheese in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch and onion powder. Toss until the cheese is well coated and set aside.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a rapid simmer, then begin adding the cheese, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition before adding more. Once all the cheese has been added, stir in the hot sauce to taste. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth and creamy. You may want to add a little extra milk if you feel the sauce is too thick. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm as you assemble the nachos.
Make-ahead tip: You can make the cheese sauce ahead of time, refrigerate and reheat in a saucepan over low heat. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but we don't recommend it.
To assemble the nachos:
When ready to serve, place a layer of tortilla chips on a large platter. Scatter some of the pork, chopped tomato, scallions and cilantro evenly over the top. Drizzle on some cheese sauce, then repeat the process, making 3 or 4 layers total. Top with the guacamole in the center and add a dollop of sour cream.