Saturday, June 27, 2009

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

These delicious, succulent tacos are on the menu for Sunday night. I have a day at home to catch up on chores and some work, so bringing out the slow cooker is a perfect and easy solution to a satisfying dinner.

3 whole ancho chiles - used 3 poblano peppers, roughly chopped
3 whole pasilla chiles - can leave out
4 cloves garlic
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth - can use water if broth is not available
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (untrimmed), cut into chunks - or any other type of pork or beef (used boston butt)
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick - the whole stick was too much for me, I recommend 1 tsp or tbsp
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
Assorted taco toppings, for garnish

1. Put the ancho and pasilla chiles and the garlic in a bowl. Microwave on high until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Stem and seed chiles. Transfer chiles and garlic to a blender (or food processor). Add the chipotles, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth.

2. 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.
3. 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.)

4. Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. (If you prefer a thicker sauce like pictured below, leave the crock pot on Low, open the lid and let the liquid cook off for about 5-10 minutes).

5. Serve the shredded pork in the tortillas, along with toppings.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

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