Saturday, April 2, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork Tinga Tacos

I happen to love my slow cooker.  It was such a great wedding gift -- I just love the idea of throwing things in a pot, going to work and then coming home to a complete meal.  Who wouldn't want that? So when I found this slow-cooker taco recipe, I couldn't wait to try it!  

This was a huge success, too! I only had pork tenderloin in our freezer instead of pork shoulder so I just cut down on the cooking time dramatically and it ended up being perfect - not too dry, which is usually the problem with using a lean cut of meat. The meat was so easy to shred with two forks.  I think one of my favorite things was that usually after work, my mind goes straight to cooking.  But for this meal, I threw it in the slow cooker at lunch time and forgot about it, had a great coffee date with Bryant after work and was still able to have dinner on the table within minutes of coming home.

We thought these tacos did have quite a bit of heat (even after removing most of the seeds in the chile); the avocado helps cool it down but I cooled it a bit further with some nonfat yogurt.  We served it with some homemade refried beans on the side to round out an easy weeknight meal.

Smoky Pork Tinga Tacos
Taken from: Elly Says Opa via Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
  • 1 lb. redskin or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1″ pieces OR 1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, fat removed
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted), including juice
  • 3-4 chipotles in adobo, sliced (remove seeds for a milder dish)
  • 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4″ thick
For serving:
  • 4 oz. fresh Mexican chorizo sausage (optional)
  • 24 warm corn or whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese, such as feta or goat cheese
  • 2 large avocados, diced
  • nonfat yogurt (optional)
  1. Spread the potatoes over the bottom of a slow cooker and top with the pork.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the (undrained) tomatoes with the chipotles, adobo sauce, Worcestershire, oregano, garlic, onion, and about 1 1/2 tsp. salt.  Pour the mixture evenly over the meat and potatoes.
  3. Cover and slow cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 (if using pork tenderloin, cook on low for 5-6 hours - I had halved this recipe and the pork was perfect at 4 hours on low).
  4. When you’re ready to eat, fry the optional chorizo and then stir everything together, breaking the pork into smaller pieces (with pork tenderloin, shred with two forks).  Taste and season with additional salt if necessary.
  5. Serve with warm tortillas, cheese, avocados and optional yogurt for making soft tacos.

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