Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taco Love

If I had to pick my favorite area of the grocery store, it would probably be the clearance section of the meat department. Possibilities abound here! You never know what you’re going to find, and there is nothing wrong with this meat besides the fact that it is coming up on its sell-by date. At 50% off, I will gladly take it home with me. 

A few days ago, I picked up a pound and a half of "fresh pork meat for stew" for $2.43. That's right: $2.43!! Now I had to decide what to make with it. I knew I didn't want stew, but these chunks of pork would need to be cooked for a good amount of time to become tender. 

My thoughts turned to my latest purchase…the tortilla press. 

The tortilla press has become my new favorite kitchen gadget. I’ve always wanted to try making homemade tortillas, but thought it was a daunting task. I finally bought a press and started the process of making corn tortillas. When all was said and done, and I had a stack of fresh tortillas in front of me, I thought surely something would go wrong when I cooked them…this was way too easy. Much to my surprise and delight, they came out beautifully. These are some really good tortillas, and you know what that means… 


I'm not entirely sure what to call this dish...it isn't chile verde since the sauce isn't green, and it's not a typical carnitas recipe either. So, for lack of a better name, I’ll call them what they are: 

Shredded Pork Tacos 

This is really one of those “kitchen sink” type recipes, where you can throw in whatever you want to get the flavors and spice you desire. Since I had picked up some more assorted peppers at the farmer’s market, I knew those would go in for some heat, along with a few of those pickled peppers that I made last week that I finally got to open. (They morphed into some incredibly HOT peppers in the pickling process, and were delicious!) 

This is what went into my pot: 

1.5 pounds pork, cut into pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 assorted hot peppers, chopped
2 pickled hot peppers, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 can chicken stock

corn tortillas
cilantro to garnish 

Heat some vegetable oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add to the pot, browning on sides for a few minutes. Once browned, add onions and peppers. Saute until soft. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two. Next pour in the tomatoes and juice and let reduce for about 5 minutes. Then add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for about one and a half hours. (It’s a long time, but it makes the pork very tender.) Stir occasionally. 

When the pork is done, transfer all the solids to a food processor. Pulse a few times until most of the pork is shredded, but some chunks remain. (You don’t want a puree.) Add back into the pot, stir, and turn the heat up to reduce a little more. The consistency is pretty soupy, so use less broth if you want a thicker consistency. 

Fill corn tortillas with the pork mixture and sprinkle with cilantro. 

I am officially in love with these tacos. They were spicy, but not overwhelming, and left just the right amount of tingle on your lips. And I can’t say enough about the homemade tortillas…they really are worth it and a must-try. 

If you need me, I’ll be in the clearance section…


  1. I like your style, a lot like mine! And I love recipes that I can break out my dutch oven, kudos!

  2. Yum! I love making homemade tortillas, but have not invested in a tortilla press yet, I may have to get one:)

  3. Mmmm...pork carnitas tacos are one of my favorites! These look amazing!!!

  4. This is my kind of food, plenty of peppers, and tomatoes. I've never made pork tacos. I love the ingredients,the vibrant colors, and texture. I must make this!

  5. Nice! So you basically ended up with some killer pork tacos and were out of pocket... What? About five bucks? That's great!

    And you made your own tortillas to boot! I like the way you think.


  6. I have just come to love Mexican food a lot recently. This one will be on my list. Looks very delicious.....mmm

  7. Those tacos sound great! Especially with homemade tortillas! I'm dying to try that sometime.

  8. ...see you there ;)LOL!! I'm with ya...love the clearance aisle. And I totally love tacos, so win-win here!

  9. Oh my word! This looks so delicious! Shredded pork tacos?! Heeeaaavveeennn! I bet those just melt in your mouth!

  10. Yummmy ... i like this recipe ... maybe i will do smaller versions using wanton skins :)

  11. Oooo, those look like really good street tacos!

  12. I love that you made your own tortillas...these look great :)

  13. I just made these too! I'm with you regarding the meat thing!!! You smart shopper you! :)

  14. Being a taco lover myself, I think this recipe you came up with for using the pork looks divine. Nothing beats homemade! Kudos to you!