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Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos

Scrolling through the healthy recipes section on Food Network, I discovered this interesting recipe. I mean what's better than pork in my crockpot with garlic and tacos? If you answered nothing is better, you'd be correct! I feel like I post a lot of pork recipes but they're all delicious and if not fast and easy, then well worth the trouble.
If you look at the final directions about seasoning with salt and pepper, I did not. I had already added the salt and pepper pre-cooking and didn't feel the need to add more. I don't add salt to my diet anyway, it contains enough I'm sure, and with all the chiles and garlic why add?

Admission: Hardest part was deseeding the chiles. Have never done that before and realized in about 2 seconds that I needed gloves, a trashcan right next to me, a fan and the window open, and more chiles than they said. Why? Because I didn't want to deal with the deseeding and needed more chiles to make up the lack.

Picture is theirs by Tina Rupp my tacos didn't look like that but they were certainly delicious!

Prep Time: 25 min
Inactive Prep Time: --
Cook Time: 5 hr 11 min
Level: Easy
Serves:   about 8 servings

3 whole ancho chiles (I admit, I had no idea what these or the Pasilla chiles were. Called 3 different places but found them! Didn't know enough about the recipe to improvise.)
3 whole pasilla chiles
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo sauce (Goya. Yeah, had to look that one up, too.)
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Kosher salt (used sea salt)
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican (seriously? I'm going to buy oregano? Pft: I used what I had in the cabinet.)
3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (untrimmed), cut into chunks
Freshly ground pepper (or peppercorns, whatever you have!)
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tablespoon cinnamon if you happen to be out of sticks which I never buy anyway)
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving (Corn tortillas are healthier for you than the wheat but not quite as tasty, I admit. I used soft-shelled. Didn't diminish the taste!)
Assorted taco toppings, for garnish (Like cheese! You wouldn't think pork and cheese would go but cheese makes everything better. Like chocolate though I wouldn't recommend chocolate as a taco topping.)

Put the ancho and pasilla chiles and the garlic in a bowl; add 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Microwave on high until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Stem and seed the chiles; peel the garlic. Transfer the chiles and garlic to a blender.

Add the chipotles, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened.

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and transfer to a large slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook on high until the meat is tender, about 5 hours. (Or cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350 degrees; uncover and cook 30 more minutes.)

Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. Serve the shredded pork in the tortillas, along with toppings.

Per serving (does not include tortillas or garnishes): Calories: 399; Total Fat: 15 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 51 grams; Total carbohydrates: 14 grams; Sugar: 5 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 147 milligrams; Sodium: 212 milligrams


  1. I love pork. Actually, I love anything I can put in the crock pot, forget about, and then shred with a fork. :) I have a similar pork recipe, made it yesterday actually, but it doesn't have the chiles. I'll need to try this. I'll remember your tips: gloves, fan, window :) Thanks.

  2. HA! S.J. trust me, those tips are a life saver! And the tacos really are easy, once you get everything into the crockpot. Which just may be the best invention in the world. :)