Monday, July 9, 2012

Pulled Pork Tacos

The obsession I have with my Crock Pot is no secret (see slow cooker pot roast for details).

Now, I'll be honest. I don't limit my Crock Pot gushing sessions to just the internet. Oh no. In fact, anyone who will listen, I will tell them all about the great things this kitchen device can do. A couple of lucky coworkers get to hear all about my adventures with the Crock Pot. I have even, at times, left these same coworkers at happy hour to tend to a meal that had been simmering away for eight hours. WHAT ELSE WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?!

While some hard feelings remain, I feel that there is a happy ending to this story. A few weeks ago, my friend Lidia brought me some GREAT news -- she had inherited a slow cooker from a friend. I must say, I have never been more proud. That is, until a few days later when she came to work flaunting images of pulled pork tacos she made with said slow cooker.

At this point, I knew she had a secret she wasn't telling me. I narrowed it down to one of three things:

1. She is the heir to the fortune that is Super Chef Bobby Flay's culinary empire.

2. She is Martha Stewart, trapped inside an actuary's body.

Or, most realistically,

3. She is, without a doubt, an evil genius.

First of all, let's talk tacos. Everybody LOVES tacos. They are easy, they are fun, they can feed a large crowd for a small price, they are versatile, they are delicious. What more can you ask for?

Mouth-watering goodness

Oh, of course. You could ask for pulled pork. This American barbecue delicacy is often enjoyed plopped atop a mound of homemade coleslaw or a sesame seed bun. In these forms, it is amazing. But who is to say it can't be transformed into something different?! That's my point! It CAN be made in different ways. And it IS delicious, no matter what. Try it for yourself with my Pulled Pork Tacos.

Here's what you need:

The Flavor Makers
2 to 2.5 pounds of pork (some kind of roast or butt would be best)
1/2 bottle barbecue sauce (I used Jack Daniels Honey Smokehouse, because it's amazing)
1/4 cup of water (or more, if you have more meat. You want a majority of the pork submerged in the liquid)
1 vidalia onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 packet Sazon Goya (a Spanish seasoning)
chili powder, black pepper, and salt to taste
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6-inch soft tortillas
Fresh cilantro to taste

Here's what you do:

First, remove as much of the meat as possible from the bone. I find this easier to do ahead of time because searching through your final meal for bones is just a hassle. The chunks can be as large or small as you like.
Add the pork, barbecue sauce, water, onion, garlic, Sazon seasoning, chili powder, salt and pepper to your trusty Crock Pot or slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Cook the pork on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
When the pork is finished cooking, use two forks to gently pull apart the pieces of pork. This should be a relatively easy process as the meat will be very tender at this point.

Heat up your tortillas for 30 seconds on each side in a dry frying pan.

Finally, build your tacos!

Here's a tip: Because the pulled pork is swimming in the cooking liquid, line your tortillas with lettuce to avoid them getting soggy. Also, allow the pork a second or two to drip dry before you pile it high on your tortilla shell. I did lettuce and cilantro on the bottom, pulled pork on top of that, and the cheese on top of that. Enjoy alongside brown rice and corn or beans.

You could also enjoy these with sour cream, tomatoes, onions, a cole slaw, or any taco topping of your choosing! Have you gotten fancy with your taco dinners recently? it just me, or is my tortilla REALLY happy to see me? SMILE!

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