I found a lovely cut of pork loin at the store the other day and used it to make some simple pulled pork tacos. I randomly saw Ingrid Hoffmann make this recipe on a Food Network rerun, and was most impressed with the possibilities for preparing pork loin any way other than grilled, which is a favorite summer special occasion meal for us and, until now, pretty much the only way I knew how to prepare pork loin. She basically turned her stovetop dutch oven into a slow cooker, resulting in pork that was tender and shreddable. The sauce was fantastic – smoky and sweet and spicy and savory all at once.
Pulled Pork Tacos (adapted from Ingrid Hoffmann’s recipe here)
– 1-3 pounds pork loin (mine was 1.59 loin rib roast)
– 1 bottle beer (I used Shiner Holiday Cheer)
– 1 cup prepared BBQ sauce
– 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (I have not yet mastered the spelling of “Worcestershire” and often use Emeril’s cognate What’sthishere Sauce)
– 1/4 cup ketchup
– 2 tablespoons apple juice
– 4 chipotle peppers from adobo sauce, chopped
– garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, lime zest to taste (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each)
1. Heat a medium dutch oven and add all ingredients listed above. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce to a simmer and let sit for 45-50 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the meat to a cutting board and shred with two forks.
4. Meanwhile, raise the heat under the sauce to medium and let it bubble away and reduce down while you shred the meat.
5. Add the shredded meat back to the sauce for at least 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
6. Serve with warmed tortillas, tortilla chips, over a salad, or even by itself with your choice of toppings. I used monterey jack cheese, green onions, anaheim chili peppers, cilantro, and plain Greek yogurt all with yellow corn tortillas.
Oh, yeah, so here’s a tip. Plain Greek yogurt has the same refreshing, tangy flavor as sour cream but it’s a) healthier, and b) available in smaller containers, perfect for your occasional Tex-Mex night that won’t guilt you into baking a sour-cream pound cake with what’s left in the tub of sour cream you might otherwise have bought. I’m telling you, your sour cream fans won’t know the difference–Alex can attest to this!
Ordinarily, I might be more inclined to use the traditional flour tortillas for something like this. But I had a stack of corn tortillas in the fridge that I bought over a week ago thinking I would use them to bake myself some tortilla chip strips for a chicken tortilla soup that never came to fruition. Corn tortillas it is then, but I forgot how easily they rip under the weight and heat of their filling. (I presume this is why they’re usually fried in the form of crispy taco shells at chain Mexican restaurants, don’t you think?) We didn’t really care anyway because we were sopping up every bit of sauce, pork and topping we could get our fingers in.
Which is an excellent segue into a new feature of my new snazzy blog look: The Yum Factor. It should be noted that this was actually the brainchild of Alex and basically will give you a rating for each recipe I share based on its yummy-ness, as determined by Alex and by me. This way if you think your tastes (or those for whom you are cooking) align more closely with Alex, you’ll know which dishes he really enjoyed; similarly, if your tastes align more closely with mine, well, you get the idea. Simplified logic, then, will tell you at a glance which dishes you’re more likely to try and enjoy. The scale is from 1-10, 1 (yum) meaning “Well, I ate it” and 10 (yummmmmmmmmm) meaning “this is the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten.”
Today’s yum factor:
Alex – 8
Jessalyn – 8
Yeah. It was goood.
Ordinarily I’ll post the Yum factor right underneath the title of the recipe I choose to share. It bears mentioning that each dish is evaluated without discussion based on what it has to offer, not in comparison to other dishes. It just wouldn’t be fair to compare pulled pork tacos to caramel ice cream, right?
Hey, so apparently there’s a big football game coming up next weekend. These pulled pork tacos would make for some pretty rockin’ party food if you’re still planning your menu (and it goes great with beer!). But if Tex-Mex isn’t your style (or even if it is), what are you planning to serve while you watch the
Green Bay / Pittsburgh best-commercials-of-the-year throwdown?