Thursday, October 27, 2011


It’s that time of year again. The weather is finally changing, the evenings are getting quite chilly, and the mornings are so dark I feel like I’m waking up in the middle of the night. All those things mean that it must be slow cooker time! (Looking back at my posts, I see that I’m very consistent. It was October 29 last year when I declared it was time to pull out the slow cooker.) 

If you go back to last year’s post, you’ll see that I was slightly afraid terrified of burning the house down with an unattended slow cooker. While I’m not completely over that fear, I figured that since there have been all those times when the slow cooker didn’t spontaneously combust, I was probably safe to leave the house for a few hours. However, since I could just imagine coming home to the slow cooker pushed off the counter and two very fat, happy cats covered in pork, there was the need to cat-proof, which meant the slow cooker went in the bathroom with the door closed. I’m fairly certain that the bathroom is going to smell like pulled pork until the end of time, but I suppose that’s better than some other options. So the good news is that the house didn’t burn down, the cats didn’t manage to serve themselves an afternoon snack, and I now have a pork-scented bathroom. Win, win, win.

My other hang-up with the slow cooker is that I feel the need to constantly mess with the contents. I know that the very point of the appliance is that you don’t have to do that, but I can’t help myself. It’s similar to me watching someone else in the kitchen…I just have to get in there. It is impossible for me to sit back and relax while someone else fact, it is the very opposite of relaxing for me. And with the slow cooker, I’m always poking around, stirring, basting or flipping. Since I’d made this recipe before using my standard can’t-keep-my-hands-out-of-it method, I wanted to try it again using the least possible effort and without ever even lifting the lid. Turns out these slow cookers know what they’re doing. 

If you’re looking for the easiest dinner ever, and have 8-10 hours to spare, this is the dish for you. The preparation took me less than ten minutes, and then I didn’t touch it until the timer went off. After that, it’s so incredibly tender that shredding it is no chore at all. Just poking at it causes the pork to fall apart. 

Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos 

3 1/2 – 4 pound pork shoulder blade roast (also called Boston butt)
2 cups salsa
1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeno
1/2 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper*
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 bottle Mexican beer

For serving: 
corn tortillas
diced avocado or guacamole
sour cream

Trim the pork roast of excess fat. Combine the salsa, jalapenos, ground chipotle, brown sugar and beer in a large slow cooker. Place the pork roast in the salsa mixture and spoon some of the mixture on top of pork. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. 

When pork is done, remove any bones and use two forks to pull the pork, leaving it in the salsa mixture. 

Warm the corn tortillas and fill with pulled pork. Add toppings as desired.

*Note: You could substitute chili powder for ground chipotle pepper but you won’t get the smokiness that the chipotle offers. 

Sometimes it’s just a taco kind of night, isn’t it? For those nights, these pulled pork tacos hit the spot perfectly. The ground chipotle gives the meat a smokiness that makes you believe it could have come from the barbecue and there’s a nice amount of heat that comes through. Best of all, the pork practically melts in your mouth. Not bad for less than ten minutes work, huh? 

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  1. That looks so delicious! I really need to get myself a slow cooker, but I only cook for two in a veeery small kitchen... do you have recommendations on brands/sizes?

  2. You just convinced me to get (and not fear) a slow cooker!

  3. Wow great recipe and beautiful pics!

  4. WOW, this looks so simple and delish. I love my slow cooker , and also fear burning the house down..heheh

  5. Great minds think alike! Let slow cooker season begin!

  6. Karen, your pulled pork looks amazing! I've promised myself to make some this yummy!

  7. Is it wrong that I want these for breakfast? numm

  8. That looks delish! Thanks for sharing it.

  9. These look delicious and love how the color pops!

  10. Pork tacos are one of our favorites! These smokey ones sound absolutely delicious!

  11. These tacos look awesome! Great pics!

  12. I love pulled pork! I also love making it in the slow easy!

  13. Wow Karen!

    Delicious....Now in Brazil, is avocado time. I'll make your recipe of course!



  14. I've never used my slow cooker much, because the recipes I've found for it never seem to have much flavour. This might be the recipe that changes my mind!

  15. Mmmm! This cracks me up as I have the SAME slow cooker hang ups that you do! I also want to stir it up constantly and to leave it alone... just frightens me! These tacos are well worth pulling it out though, these look DELICIOUS!!!! My kind of dinner for sure!

  16. Pork scented bathroom. I could TOTALLY dig that. I also have 'pet-fear' when it comes to crock pots. My dogs aren't quite as nimble as cats so at least I've got that going for me :)

    Great tacos! Bookmarked!

  17. These look delicious! I;m always looking for new slow cooker meals.

  18. Look at you with a blog -- I'm glad you've found an outlet for something you were always good at. Get in touch if you want to.