A simple meal for a cheap pork roast and a pretty lazy day. (Or a pretty busy one, the pork simmering away in the slow-cooker while you have mind and hands free for something else).
Pair with storebought corn (or flour) tortillas for an even easier meal.
My inspiration was this recipe for shredded pork tacos at My Colombian recipes, plus gorditas by Jamie Oliver.
Slow-Cooker Mexican Pork with Gorditas
4 pounds of pork shoulder
1 cup water
1 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
Salt and pepper
1 cup crema fresca or creme fraiche
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 jalapeño pepper
1 cup fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 cup sliced cabbage
1/2 cup queso fresco
1 red onion thinly sliced
1. Purée the onions, garlic, red bell pepper, ground cumin, chile powder in a blender until smooth.
2. Put the pork in the slow cooker. Add the onion mixture, then cover and cook on high for 6 to 7 hours. The meat should be fork-tender and falling apart.
3. Remove the meat and place in a large bowl to cool. When the meat is cool enough, shred it with your fingers.
4. Make the salsa and assemble the tacos:
In a blender, mix the jalapeño, cilantro, crema fresca, mayonnaise, cumin, salt, pepper and the lime juice.
5. Divide the pork and cabbage evenly among the tortillas. Drizzle with the jalapeño sauce and top with the sliced red onion.
6. Garnish with the cilantro and queso fresco and serve immediately.
First of all, the pork could use a little more oomph, maybe a chipotle pepper or an extra serrano or jalapeño added to the slow-cooker. The original recipe asked for 3 cups of water, which was way too much, I simply added about a cup while pureeing the onion and peppers. And my pork roast could have stayed another hour in the pot easily, so make sure you start early.
Cheese isn’t one of my husband’s favorite foods, so we skipped the queso fresco. The jalapeño sauce is easy and delicious, very refreshing and with a nice zing, but I had only 10% fat sour cream. Next time I’ll use full-fat creme fraîche, but less – maybe 1/2 cup, to make it thicker and more intense. To make the sauce I used the lower half of my bunch of cilantro, using the stalks as well, which was a tasty and economical alternative.
As noted before I couldn’t find corn tortillas (or masa harina), only fine cornmeal, and made gorditas instead of tortillas:
500 g fine cornmeal or masa harina (which is similar)
1/2 level teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
700 ml hot water
Plain flour, for dusting
Put the cornmeal and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix the baking powder into the hot water and pour this into the well. Using a fork, mix the cornmeal into the liquid, and when it starts to come together use your hands to knead it. Divide the dough into 16 equal squash-ball-sized pieces and dust them lightly with flour. Roll each piece around in your hands, then pat and flatten into a small round roughly the size of the base of a wine glass
Heat a skillet with some olive oil, and cook as many gorditas as will comfortably fit into the pan for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they’re golden and puff up a little.
Serve the gorditas warm out of the pan.
I had my stand mixer do the kneading which worked like a charm. The gorditas were nice, but won’t hold more than a tablespoon or so of the meat, which is why I will – when I make this again – look for corn tortillas or make some ahead, because I have a feeling this pork dish will make a terrific snack for one of our board game nights. Everyone can just assemble the meal according to her taste, and you can do most of the prep ahead, keeping salad and onions in the fridge, chopped.