Tortilla-Wrapped Spicy Adobo Pork Roast

Prep Time: 3 Hours

Yields: 8–10 Servings


Adobo comes from the Spanish word adobar, which literally means "to marinate". It's a common all-purpose seasoning that is used to flavor and/or marinate meat, chicken or fish. Adobo can be prepared as either a dry spice mix or a wet rub paste. The central ingredients of adobo are garlic, oregano, black pepper and turmeric. Based on regional preferences, other spices and/or ingredients are added to the basic adobo. Adobo seasoning is prepared in Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain. In Mexico, Adobo paste is simply made from ground chiles, herbs and vinegar. This roast is preferred by most as an ingredient for the ultimate tortilla. Simply break the roast into pieces and place in a warm flour tortilla then garnish with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, diced tomatoes and cilantro.


1 (3-pound) boneless pork butt

½ cup adobo sauce

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

1 tbsp ground cumin, divided

1 tbsp ground oregano, divided

1 tsp chile powder, divided

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced and divided

14 whole cloves garlic

1 tbsp smoky Spanish paprika

½ cup bacon fat or olive oil

2 cups diced red onions

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced green bell peppers

½ cup diced red bell peppers

½ cup diced yellow bell peppers

2 fresh bay leaves

2 cups beef stock

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water


Preheat oven to 375°F. Onto a half sheet pan, place pork butt and cut 7 (1-inch) slits about 1 inch apart in the roast for stuffing seasonings. Into each of the 7 slits, place a pinch each of salt, black pepper and granulated garlic. Rub well into the slits. Follow with half of the cumin, oregano, chile powder and jalapeño, pushing well into each slit. Finish by adding two whole garlic cloves into each slit, pushing down well to secure into the roast. Using rubber gloves, rub adobo sauce over the entire roast. Season roast completely using paprika and remaining cumin, oregano and chile powder along with salt, black pepper and granulated garlic to taste. In a large Dutch oven, heat bacon fat or olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown pork butt on each side, turning occasionally. Take care not to burn the bacon fat. Remove pork from Dutch oven and set aside. Into the pot, add onions, celery, bell peppers and bay leaves. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add beef stock and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and return pork butt to the pot. While simmering, place sugar into a 9-inch sauté pan, add ¼ cup water and cook over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally to create a caramel. NOTE: Do not stir sugar with a spoon. Adjust heat as necessary to brown caramel evenly, taking care not to scorch. Drizzle caramel into the liquid around the outer edge of the roast. Cover the pot tightly and bake 2–2½ hours or until roast is fork tender and internal temperature has reached 195°F. Remove roast from pot and allow to rest 20 minutes before slicing or chopping for wrap.