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Lunch with Chef Judi: Poppo's Taqueria

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This cool funky place brings fresh healthy eating to Manatee County -- no antibiotics and no hormones in their proteins, and organic produce whenever possible.  My fave is a big bowl. Try braised beef with brown rice, honey lime slaw, cilantro sour cream, red onion, and add on guacamole and sour cream. Real deal fresh tacos and burritos.  Craft beer and sodas are free of high fructose corn syrup.

Poppo's Taqueria has two locations: Manatee Avenue West at 67th Street in Bradenton, and at 212c Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.


Serves: 6-8


2 lb pork shoulder or picnic cut

¼ cup salt

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 medium yellow onion sliced

2 tbs ground coriander

3 tbs avocado oil or lard

Diced red onion, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges for garnish

Corn tortillas

Dissolve ¼ cup salt in about a quart of hot water. Let cool. Meanwhile, slice pork into 1 ½ inch thick strips. Add pork to brine and just cover with cold water. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for 8-12 hrs.

Remove pork from brine and give a quick rinse. Pat dry and set aside. Meanwhile heat avocado oil or lard in a large frying pan on high heat. When shimmering, add pork and sear until golden brown on all sides. Set pork aside and saute onions and garlic in the same pan with leftover oil, moving frequently and scraping up any pork bits stuck to the pan until the onions are well caramelized. Transfer onions and garlic into a crock pot large enough to hold the pork, but not too large. Add two cups hot water bring to simmer. Add coriander and mix until well combined. Add pork, bring pot to low boil on high heat then immediately reduce to simmer. Cook for approximately 2 ½ to 3 hrs or until the pork will easily pull apart with a fork. Pull pork from braise. Leave the braising liquid in the pot and reduce if necessary to be used as a sauce. Ladle off any excess fat and save for later cooking projects. Coarsely shred the pork in a bowl. Add the braising liquid to the pork. There should be enough to moisten and flavor the pork, but not so much that the pork is swimming in it.

To serve, place a serving of pork into a corn taco shell (I recommend using two shells per taco). Garnish generously with chopped cilantro, diced onions, and your choice of hot sauce. Serve with lime wedge. Pickled onions also go very nicely with this dish.

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at