April 28, 2010

Smokin' Hot Pork Tacos

2 1/2 lb boneless pork rib roast
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1 jalapeno, seeded
7 oz chipotle chiles in adobo (1 small can)
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon Mexican hot chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

shredded cheddar
shredded red cabbage
halved grape tomatoes
cubed avocado
sour cream
corn or flour tortillas

Place the spices, chiles, garlic, lime juice, oil and shallot into a food processor or blender (I used my Vita-Mix)and pulse until very smooth. Add the mixture to a marinating container or resealable bag. Add the pork and make sure it is fully submerged/coated in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight (about 14-16 hours is good). Add the pork and marinade into to a 4 quart slow cooker. Cook for about 8 hours. Shred the meat with a fork and toss to coat in the sauce.

My thoughts:
I hadn't made tacos in ages so when I finally did, I wanted them to be special. I was planning on grilling the meat but a forecast of six straight days of rain made me think of alternative cooking methods. I know some people swear by the dutch oven or I could have cubed it and cooked it in a pan but for me, the slow cooker is so easy! We were having a guest for dinnr and slow cooking meant that there was minimal hands-on cooking time when she was here. I prepped all of the toppings (except the avocado) before she arrived so we were ready to go when the the pork was ready. When you first put it in the slow cooker it looks sort of like there won't be enough sauce but there totally is, the pork gives off some liquid as it cooks and you end up with the perfect amount of sauce, enough to coat but not so much it drips out of the taco and onto your hands.

It is a spicy, smoky pork (it would have to be with all those chipotles!) but at the same time, very flavorful, not just hot. Matt really loved it and reports that the leftovers were very good with rice and a bit of cabbage the next day.