Pulled Pork Burritos – spice up those leftovers

I’ll begin by confessing that I’m not generally a big fan of leftovers. And by that I don’t mean food that I’ve cooked a double portion of and stashed in the freezer. I do that all the time. Many things like curry and bolognese sauces improve after a day in the fridge and are just as delicious when you defrost and reheat for another meal.

When I say leftovers I’m talking about the two slices of pizza that had looked so good the night before fresh out of the oven but somewhat less appetising the day after. The shrivelled cold sausages, the crisp and fresh salad that looks a little limp after a night cling filmed in the fridge.

My husband is less fussy than myself in this department. He’s more than happy to ferret about the fridge and heat up that slice of pizza or make himself a cold sausage sandwich. I generally prefer to make something fresh.

But as with most things I have a few exceptions. One of them is leftover roast meat. I love it. I glory in the fact that I have leftover meat in the fridge. It offers endless options and allows me to produce a meal that is just as delicious as the meal it was cooked for originally.

I think a perfect example of this is the classic Shepherd’s Pie. Although today it is most often made with fresh minced meat, it was traditionally cooked as a way of using up lamb from the previous evening’s roast. And how perfect is Shepherd’s Pie? Easy to make, comforting and delicious.

Last week I cooked pulled pork and with it made a delicious pulled pork and mango salad. But I had plenty of pork left over. What to do? The options were aplenty but in the end I went with pulled pork burritos. I love Mexican food, as does my husband and I thought the pork would be fantastic spiced up and spooned into a warm tortilla. Turns out I was right.

To turn this leftover pulled pork into a spicy sensation for my burritos I made a spicy tomato sauce to reheat the pork in.

When I originally cooked the pork I used smoked paprika, cumin and brown sugar in the rub and wanted to echo these flavours in the sauce. To add a further flavour element I roasted a red pepper, a red chilli and a couple of garlic cloves. These were added when I processed the sauce. I wanted it to be beautifully smooth before I reheated the pork. The result was fabulous.

So what to serve with the spicy pork? Burritos, as with tacos, are all about balance and the right blend of textures and flavours. To counter the heat you want something cool. To counter the smooth sauce and tender pork you want something with freshness and crunch. And you want the colours to sing off the plate.

I’ve also given a recipe below for tomato and coriander salsa, which is ridiculously easy to make but adds wonderful freshness and crunch from the red onion. The sour cream adds the cool element and the avocado gives great flavour and colour. It’s a winning combination.

Incidentally, I should note that the recipe I’m about to give for the spicy sauce that goes with the pork would work just as well if it happened to be leftover chicken or beef that you had in the fridge.



Pulled Pork Burritos

Serves 4


300g pulled pork

2-3 avocados

Sour cream, to serve

8 plain flour tortillas, warmed through


Spicy Tomato Sauce


  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled
  • 1 red chilli, left whole (stalk removed)
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet)
  • 200g chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced).
  2. Place the red pepper, garlic cloves and red chilli in a shallow roasting tray lined with foil or baking paper. Give them a light seasoning and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft and starting to char. Keep an eye on them as they do cook quite quickly.
  3. Meanwhile make the tomato sauce. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until soft and translucent.
  4. Add the cumin, coriander and smoked paprika and stir through the onion. Let it sizzle for a minute or so to cook off the spices.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, brown sugar and salt, stir well and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour the sauce into the bowl of your food processor.
  7. Once the roasting tray has been out of the oven for a few minutes squeeze the seeds out of the chilli and add it to the food processor. Also add the red pepper and the garlic flesh squeezed from their skins.
  8. Process until you have a smooth sauce.
  9. Return the sauce to the pan and pour in a little water to loosen it. Add the pulled pork and stir through well. You may need to add more water to loosen it further. Let it simmer gently until the pork is heated through.


Tomato & Coriander Salsa


  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 roma tomatoes or large vine tomatoes
  • Handful coriander leaves
  • Freshly ground salt
  • Juice of half a lime (or 1 small lime)



  1. Dice the onion very finely.
  2. Deseed the tomatoes and chop into small cubes.
  3. Finely chop the coriander.
  4. Place prepared ingredients into a bowl and season.
  5. Stir through the lime juice.
  6. Taste to see if it needs any further salt or lime.



Once transferred to serving dishes, take all the elements to table and allow everyone to construct their own burritos. They will thank you.







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