When I check out newly released cookbooks from the library, I usually flip through them, admire the photographs, and jot down one or two recipes to try the next time I'm in the mood to cook. And this time was no different; as the title of this post indicates, I jotted down the recipe for slow cooked pork tacos, and Tod and I decided to go for it. (When preparing supper for a crowd, I often turn to the slow cooker for a number of reasons. First, I love the fact that you can get the messy work out of the way before your guests arrive (so you're not busy trying not to burn things while simultaneously trying to entertain your guests). Second, it means that you'll have enough food for the inevitable guest or two who show up unplanned or maybe even uninvited. Third, cooking in the slow cooker means your house will smell like Betty Crocker lives there. And finally, because slow cooking gives the spices a chance to "mell" (inside joke there; of course I know that the correct word is "meld"), you can go bananas with your spices and still not ruin the meal. Wait, one more thing: slow cooking is energy efficient, or so I've read, and in these hot summer months, you don't have to worry about turning on the oven and overheating your entire kitchen. One little appliance does all the heavy work for you. Yay for slow cookers!)
So anyway, I jotted down the recipe for slow cooked pork tacos, and I thought I'd share it with you since it was a hit. (And no, I was not trying to "age" the recipe by spilling water and random ingredients on it. I'm maybe just not the neatest cook in the world.)
Here's a list of what you should pick up from the store:
First, a slow cooker if you don't have one. (Seriously, why don't you have one?)
1 boneless pork sirloin roast (roughly 2 pounds)
1 and 1/2 cups of salsa verde (the green kind in case you don't speak Mexican)
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup of dried apricots, chopped (Don't skip this; it's amazing how the sweetness of the apricots works with the spiciness of the salsa. I wonder if other dried fruits would be good? Pineapple maybe?)
2 tablespoons of lime juice (We used the juice of one lime.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
dash of hot pepper sauce
flour tortillas (We went with the smaller sized tortillas rather than the giant burrito-sized fajitas. The recipe also suggested using Boston Bibb lettuce leaves if you're going for the whole low-carb thing. Yeah, my vote is for the flour tortillas.)
As for the taco toppings, we went with chopped lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream, cubed avocado, diced tomatoes, and low-fat refried beans.
And here are the directions:
Plug in your slow cooker and remove the lid. Add the pork, salsa, chopped red pepper, chopped onion, chopped apricots, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, white pepper, and hot sauce (all of the ingredients except the flour tortillas and the taco toppings) to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker on high and cook for 4-5 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Remove the meat and let cool slightly. Shred the roast with a fork and return to the slow cooker, heating through. When you're ready to eat, place the pork on a serving dish, throw the bowls of toppings on the table, and let your guests make their own tacos!
Oh, and for a side dish, we also boiled some fresh ears of corn for corn-on-the-cob (although I personally still cut the kernels off of the cob and eat them like an eight-year-old without front teeth). Go slightly overboard on the theme (you know we did) and serve up your favorite chips and cheese dip, as well as some Margaritas and taco-friendly beer like Corona or Pacifico.
Sometimes when I try new recipes from random library cookbooks, they immediately go in the trash, but not this one. No, I think I'll keep this one and stick it in my recipe notebook so I can make it again. Although next time, I'll be sure to avoid puncturing my finger while chopping avocado. (I may not be the neatest cook, and I'm clearly not the most coordinated, but at least I plan ahead. That's right, I make sure to do my messiest and least coordinated cooking when there's a doctor or two in the house as well as a mom or two, because, as everybody knows, doctors and moms don't get light-headed and teary-eyed at the sight of blood (like I do), and they always know just what to do to make it better. Thank you, by the way.)