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Slow-Cooker Barbecue Rib Tacos
Eddie Jackson's Slow-Cooked BBQ Rib Tacos
Nathan Congleton/TODAY
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(14 rated)

You'll never have to decide between ribs and tacos on game day again. These tasty tacos combine the two into one delicious dish.

Technique tip: Use a cast iron skillet to really get a really good sear on the ribs to lock in all the goodness.

Swap option: You can swap pork shoulder for the ribs.


  • Barbecue sauce

    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon molasses
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons sauce
    • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ribs

    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 4½ pounds meaty country-style pork ribs
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
    • 3 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
    • 12 to 16 corn tortillas, warmed in a skillet or charred over a flame
  • Assembly

    • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
    • 1 avocado, cut into thin wedges
    • 1/8 red cabbage, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
    • 5 radishes, thinly sliced
    • Pico de gallo
    • Cilantro sprigs
    • Lime wedges


For the barbecue sauce:

In the bowl of a blender, combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, molasses, mustard, garlic, chipotles and sauce and onion. Season generously with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

For the ribs:

1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, brown sugar, cayenne, chili powder, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Sprinkle the ribs with the rub on all sides.

2. In a skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. When shimmering, add the ribs and brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Transfer to a slow cooker.

3. Add the barbecue sauce, Mexican oregano and enough chicken stock to come halfway up the ribs. Set the slow cooker to high and cook, 8 to 10 hours.

4. Remove the ribs and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces (discard the fat). Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Whisk to combine (the sauce may separate during cooking) and transfer to a serving bowl.

To serve:

Construct tacos by spreading the tortillas with sauce and topping with pork, cucumbers, avocado wedges, cabbage, Cotija, radishes, pico de gallo and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

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