Friday, January 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Don't you just love a meal that slaves away all day for you and then makes you look like a hero? This is definitely one of those dishes. I was a little skeptical at first, but they turned out incredible!

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos 
adapted recipe from Food Network Magazine

3 dried whole ancho chiles
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 3/4 cups chicken broth
4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into chunks
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Corn tortillas, warmed for serving
Taco toppings (beans, lettuce, cilantro, sour cream, olive, salsa, etc.)

Reconstitute the dried ancho chiles by soaking them in hot water for about 10 minutes. Place a bowl or other heavy object on top of them to keep them submerged, if needed.
When softened and pliable, remove the stem and seeds from the chiles.

Add the ancho chiles, garlic, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt, and oregano to the blender. (If using ground cinnamon add it to the blender now.) Puree until smooth. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the blended mixture and cook until thickened and fragrant. Add the chicken broth and reduce until slightly thickened.

Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper and place it in the slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and then the sauce. Cook on low for approximately 8 hours or on high for 5 hours.

Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Strain the meat, using a slotted spoon, into another dish and shred using 2 forks. Remove several cups (about 4 cups, or more if you want more sauce) of the sauce from the slow cooker to a saucepan. Place over medium heat and add a few spoonfuls(about 2-4 tablespoons) of flour to help it thicken. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Stir frequently until sauce has reduced and thickened. Add the shredded pork to the sauce pan. Warm tortillas in a preheated oven or microwave. Serve the shredded pork mixture with the tortillas and desired toppings.

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