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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Shredded Pork Tacos With the Texan
Happy Tuesday, y'all. The Texan is in the cafe and today we're going to spice things up a bit. After all, it is Valentine's Day. And what's Valentine's Day without a little spice. Best of all, this recipe is super easy and oh so delicious.
Here's what you'll need:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped into big pieces
2 lbs. (or more if you like) pork shoulder
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 stick of cinnamon
l tsp. cumin (found this wonderful roasted cumin)
1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1/2 - 1 tsp. (depending how spicy you like it. I used about 3/4 tsp) chipotle powder
In a large skillet, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat. I don't know about you, but I love the aroma of sauteing onions. Let cook until the onion is translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
Add the pork and sear on all sides. Usually the pork shoulder will be in one hunk, but I bought carnita meat on sale (one of the benefits of living in Texas), thus the chunks.
Transfer pork and onions to Crock Pot or slow cooker and add remaining ingredients, including a generous (about 2 Tbsp.) bit of course salt and black pepper to taste.
Stir everything together, and add enough water to cover the pork two-thirds.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours. WARNING: This will make your house smell so fabulously yummy, those 5-6 hours will seem like an eternity. Unless you leave for something important like work or shopping, in which case you're safe.
Doesn't this look yummy? And did I mention the aroma?
Allow to cool slightly before removing meat to platter.
Using two forks (or whatever works best for you), pull pork into shreds. This meat is so incredibly tender, it practically falls apart on its own.
Serve with your favorite tortillas and toppings.
I adapted this recipe from The Cowgirl Chef. She made carnitas with it, meaning the shredded meat was set under the broiler until the meat was crispy. Personally, I like mine nice and tender.
I also LOVE that this flavorful meat is so versatile. You can eat it alone, put it on a bun and serve it with some barbecue sauce, or whatever else you might like. And since I cooked more like 3 lbs., I had plenty of leftovers. Instead of shredding all the meat, I put the juice and two hunks of the meat into a zip-top plastic bag and put it in the freezer for dinner another night. Love that!
So do you have any big plans (or little ones) for this Valentine's Day? I remember the first Valentine's Day my husband and I spent together. He decided he'd take me out for dinner. I asked if he'd made reservations. He said no, that Valentine's Day wasn't that big a deal. It wasn't like there were going to be any big crowds or anything. (Yes, my man was clueless.) Imagine his surprise when we got to our favorite restaurant and there was a two-hour wait. He refused to wait that long and we ended up with take-out from KFC.
The next year, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Instead of going out, I prepared a sumptuous dinner for us at home, complete with china, crystal, and a beautifully decorated table. Pizza and a movie kept the kiddos happy in the other room.
I haven't done that the last couple of years. Now that the kids are older, they want to eat the sumptuous dinner with us and it's just not the same. Hubby says he's going to take me out for lunch today. Beat the crowds. Hopefully he'll be on the mark this time.