Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Every time I make this, I scour this blog looking for where I posted this recipe. I never find it. I guess I've never posted this before.

This is quickly becoming my go to slow cooker recipe. I make it when I have a late afternoon airport run and am not at home to make supper. I make it when we have a play date/supper date and I don't want to spend time making supper. I make it when I need an after swim practice meal. Yep. It's one of those go to meals.

A 4lb bone-in, boston butt will serve 6 - 8. If possible, make the onions, the day before you want to eat.

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos
adapted from Merrill at Food52

3 - 4 t cumin seeds (2 t ground)
1 - 2 t coriander seeds (1 t ground)
3 - 6 t chili powder (I like New Mexican because it has good flavor but isn't spicy)
1 t dried oregano
4 lbs bone-in, bost butt, very large pieces of fat trimmed
olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped (optional)
1 serrano or jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1 c water or chicken stock (fill the tomato can half up with water and use that)
2 large limes

corn tortillas
2 - 4 avocados, peeled and cut into thin slices
sour cream

Pickled Onions
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 T kosher salt
2 T sugar
1/4 medium beet, peeled
handful cilantro
a lot of cider vinegar

For the onions: Put the onion in a microwaveable container. Add the salt, sugar, beet, and cilantro. Cover everything with 1 part water to 2 parts vinegar (in other words, 1 c water to 2 c vinegar). Microwave 1 minute, stir, and microwave another minute. Cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight (or until serving).

For the pork: Put the cumin and coriander in a small pan and set over medium heat. Toast the spices a minute or two, shaking the pan occasionally, until they're fragrant. Grind the spices using a spice grinder and set aside. Meanwhile, heat 1 T oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season all sides of the pork with salt. Put in skillet and brown on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker. Drain a little of the fat off and saute the onions and peppers, if using, until soft. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Stir in the spice mixture and cook another minute. Transfer the onion and spices to the slow cooker. With the skillet still over the heat, pour the water into the skillet, stirring to loosen all the browned bits and spices on the bottom of the pan. Pour into the slow cooker along with the diced tomatoes and the juice of the a lime.

Cook in a slow cooker over low heat for 6 - 8 hours. Before serving, remove meat from pot. Discard bone and large chunks of fat. Shred the pork using two forks and adjust seasonings (salt and chili powder) as needed. Serve on top of a tortilla with an avocado slice, some pickled onions, a sprig of cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream or salsa if desired. Squeeze a lime wedge over top.

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