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Paleo Redneck Tacos

A Music City favorite gets a paleo makeover, and it is song-worthy!

Paleo Redneck Tacos

You might be a redneck . . .

If your favorite kind of taco is a griddle cake loaded with shredded pork and slaw. 

Or at least, that's what the name of this Music City culinary treasure implies. And if there's truth to this adage, then the monsters just might be the biggest rednecks of them all. They sure love them some redneck tacos. 

So what exactly is a redneck taco?

The signature dish of nationally-acclaimed Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint, the redneck taco features a mound of mouthwatering meat upon a large corn pancake, topped with tangy cabbage slaw and BBQ sauce. 

While the corn pancake clearly stands in for a corn tortilla, drawing the comparison to a street taco, you might oughta get a fork ready. These tacos can be a handful!

While these days Martin's (now with 9 locations among 4 states) offers up redneck tacos with everything from brisket to catfish, we base ours off the pulled pork BBQ version we used to devour at their original Nolensville, TN location. 

Do I have to use smoked pork?

Only if you want to call it barbecue!

Truthfully, we smoke a pork shoulder a couple times a year, but we redneck-taco far more frequently. Usually I make my pork shoulder in the slow cooker.

For a while I'd mess with slow cooker pork shoulder recipes with a laundry list of ingredients, but then I found Michelle Tam's recipe for Slow Cooker Kalua Pig, and my pork game has never been the same.

She has also developed a recipe using the Instant Pot if that's your device of choice. 

Michelle's recipe calls for lining the slow cooker with a few strips of (Paleo/Whole30-friendly) bacon, plopping in a bone-in or bone-out pork shoulder (either is totally great), cutting a few slits in the pork for the deposit of garlic cloves, and sprinkling with Hawaiian red sea salt. 

Most of the time I omit the garlic or opt for a light sprinkle of garlic powder instead. And while I actually really love the distinct flavor the Hawaiian salt lends, I typically go with a liberal dose of Celtic grey sea salt or kosher salt because I always have those on hand. I set the Crock Pot to high and cook for about 8 hours or till it shreds super easily when pulled with two forks.

​Since this recipe yields a lot of meat (and we try to keep veggies as the bulk of our plate), I'll usually mix about half the shredded pork with a jar of Herdez Salsa Verde or some other green chili sauce to serve later over steamed potatoes or cauli rice. I might reserve some of the plain pork for pork-fried cauli rice. But the monsters' favorite way to serve it is redneck-taco style. 

Paleo Redneck Tacos

Ok. What about the griddle cakes? Is corn even paleo?

Great question! The answer is a resounding nope. Corn is a grain (a paleo no-no), so whether you call them hoecakes or Johnny cakes, cornbread pancakes are out. 

But never fear! Paleo Griddle Cakes are grain free and even more delicious than their predecessors. You can make them large or small, but either way, be prepared to load them up! Note: while most of us do attack the redneck taco by hand, we like to have a fork and some napkins on hand because, well, it can get a little messy. 

What if I'm not a fan of slaw?

I'm not either! I won't eat traditional coleslaw, but our light and tangy version totally makes the redneck taco experience. 

Here's what we do:

  • bag of slaw mix (shredded cabbage + shredded carrots)

  • good splash of red wine vinegar

  • salt, pepper

  • tiny drizzle of honey and a little sprinkle of garlic powder (both completely optional)

Mix well, and serve liberally on top of shredded pork. The light, crisp, tangy cabbage is the most amazing contrast to the richness and softness of the pork and griddle cake.

Paleo Redneck Tacoa

Don't forget the sauce!

The final of the four essential redneck-taco components is the spicy BBQ sauce. Of course you could go as spicy or mild as you like, but our absolute favorite Whole30 BBQ Sauce lands somewhere in the middle. When I tell you this sauce is good, I mean this is the family-favorite sauce among store-bought, homemade, Whole30, sugar-loaded, you name it. We like to put this stuff on everything!

But nowhere does it shine so brightly as upon a redneck taco. Salty, sweet, sour, and spicy, this sauce has it all in just the right ratios. 

Optional add-ons

Now you could get creative with redneck tacos in all sorts of ways--from using blue corn cakes as a base, to adding fried shallots to the top. But I like to keep things paleo and fairly simple. 

The only additions I'll usually make are pickled jalapenos and pickled red onions, which I'll make available as optional toppings for those who feel so inclined. These crown the tacos with a little pop of color and a great burst of flavor. We like to keep jars of these two homemade quick-pickles in the fridge at all times. 

It occurred to me the other day that, especially with these two goodies in the mix, the redneck taco is almost akin to a Vietnamese banh mi with a griddle cake in place of a baguette. It's a little bit of a stretch, but with the rich meat and lightly pickled veggies, there's definitely a connection. 

Want to make it a Music City meal?

Pair your redneck tacos with some refreshing Southern Fruit Tea and follow them up with some decadent Paleo Chocolate Cola Cake. Crank up the country music, dust off your cowboy boots, and come hungry!

Paleo Redneck Tacos

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Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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