Pork Machaca (Tender Pulled Mexican Pork)

"This is used to make burritos, tacos, or even a Mexican style pot roast. Although it makes a lot, it freezes well; and the broth makes a nice base for posole soup. Quantities are inexact but strict adherence to the recipe is not that crucial; I make this in restaurants and just "go by eye". Props to GaylaJ for shaming me into posting my first recipe here!"
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
Ready In:
4hrs 20mins


  • 1 (4 -5 lb) pork butt (about 4-5 lbs, but up to 10 is fine too)
  • 2 quarts water (enough to cover meat by about 2/3)
  • 2 12 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder (Knorr is my favorite)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 20 whole garlic cloves (or 2 tbl. granulated, but fresh will work better)
  • 4 whole jalapenos, more can be used for a spicier final dish (or 2 small cans diced green chiles, or 1 small can jalepenos-not pickled)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano (dry leaf..never use ground!)


  • Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and simmer until fork tender-this can take from 3-4 hours.
  • Can be made in a crock pot also-decrease liquid by about 1/2, bouillon powder by 1/3, and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or until tender as above).
  • When tender, remove from heat and allow meat to cool in the broth until cool enough to handle (this will keep the meat moist).
  • Shred (or "pull") either with forks or by hand.
  • Place in storage container and add some of the broth to moisten; refrigerate until needed.
  • Reheat either in microwave, or in saucepan; use a little of the juice to keep it moist.
  • For the Mexican-flavored pot roast, don't shred-slice fairly thick (about 1/2"), and make a gravy by thickening some of the juice with either cornstarch or roux (sorry, you'll have to thicken by sight; tough to give an exact quantity for that); serve with plain steamed rice/boiled potatoes and a vegetable-broccoli and/or carrots come to mind first. Leftovers make great open-faced hot sandwiches.
  • For soup, take broth and add some onions, carrots, celery, an extra bit of canned diced tomato (you can use almost anything for veggies depending on what you like/have on hand), some of the pork meat and posole (or hominy); simmer until tender and add shredded cabbage; cook another 15 minutes. Serve with hot tortillas and a salad for a complete meal.
  • Can also be made as beef machaca by using bottom (outside) round, chuck, or brisket; replace chicken bouillon powder with beef.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. dripdripsplat
    We really enjoyed this. The machaca was perfectly moist, and it even left a ton of broth that we can use in other recipes. We had the machaca with tortillas and hot sauce, but I think it really did need something else to go with it. I can't put my finger on it, but I think next time I will try sauteing up some onions, tomatoes and green peppers, and mixing them into the meat after it has cooked. All in all though, it is a great recipe with good flavor. Thank you!
  2. CJAY8248
    This is absolutely wonderful! I opted for the pot roast meal served with boiled new potatoes and butternut squash. The gravy was terrific and easy to make. I had a lot of leftover meat so I made shredded pork enchiladas and a pot of pozole. Thanks for sharing.
  3. Chef_Beauchamp
    Awesome! I only had a 2lb roast so I cut the ingredients in half. I also did not have enough fresh garlic so I used the granulated and it was still excellent. We made pork tacos and everyone loved them. Thanks!
  4. GaylaJ
    Excellent! The meat was tender, juicy, and wonderfully flavored, and I loved the simplicity of the recipe. Allowing the meat to cool in the broth does indeed help keep it moist, so don't get impatient, as I have done in the past, and pull it out to cool--just plan ahead, as it's worth the extra time. (I didn't take advantage of using the broth this time, but it is far too good to ignore--next time I intend to make a nice posole from it.) I used diced tomatoes, fresh garlic and jalapenos, and simmered an almost-8-pound roast for about 4 1/2 hours. We enjoyed it served simply on flour tortillas. I always thought it was hard to go wrong with a well-cooked Boston Butt, but this was extraordinary--thank you for posting! I'm looking forward to pulling the leftovers out of the freezer, and I'll be looking forward to more recipes from you. ;)
  5. LilPinkieJ
    Was glad to find this recipe, especially since it is not for a crock pot. Used a pork shoulder, 1 can of petite diced tomatoes, and 1 can of Rotel. I added a small dash of chipotle chili powder to the mix as well. Also threw in some cubed onions. It took about 3 hours to cook, and I left it sit in it's broth for an hour. Served with flour tortillas and pico de gallo. Fantastic really. Thank you.


  1. DianaEatingRichly
    I didn't have chicken boullion so I just added a tablespoon of salt. Still had great flavor.


30 year professional chef; I have had the great fortune to work with and for some great culinary masters over the years. Former culinary school teacher; presently I work mainly with the elderly in retirement/ass't living facilities. Also, I've done almost everything in restaurants that can be done and there's no great challenge there anymore for me-but taking what can be thought of as mundane food and making something great out of it is a worthy enough cause for me to get outta bed everyday! I know I don't have many recipes posted, but except for baking I don't have recipes...I was taught to cook by technique, not recipe. Most of my baking recipes would be pretty similar to others done here, so I don't add many. I do enjoy coming on the site and lending some advice when I can, though.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes