I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You're going to thank me for this Shredded Pork Chipotle Taco Recipe with Roasted Green Onions

I got this Recipe from HowStuffWorks.com - I'm going to type out the directions, and then I'm going to add my asides and doctoring up in Bold. After I tweaked this recipe, it is, hands down, the perfect chipotle shredded pork. Ever.

Yield: 16 Tacos (or, if you're one person, enough to make a shit ton of tacos, get tired of it, and freeze it in two more batches which will last in the freezer for a good four or five months till you crave it, eat it, and get tired of it again...)


6 Cups of Water
2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder I used an old, brined pork loin I had brined several months earlier, and forgotten in the freezer cut in 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar, divided You'll need more.
1 teaspoon salt again, I probably used more
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil it goes without saying, I used more
1 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced Does anyone mince anymore? I pressed.
1 8oz can of tomato sauce the thin kind that comes in the can-can, not the bottle
3 chipotle chili peppers in Adobo sauce, finely chopped and mashed with a fork I at least doubled this, otherwise, the recipe turns out super wimpy, and there's almost no bite. I'm pretty sure I got up to six peppers, if not more. Of course, be careful, because those suckers can get mighty hot, mighty quick, but three definitely, DEFINITELY doesn't cut the mustard. Also, save the adobo goo, you'll want to throw it into the pot as you're cooking down the shredded pork later on
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin has anyone ever used this little cumin? Go nuts with it - as much as you want. (not too nuts.)

1/2 can tomato paste - the recipe doesn't call for it, but the recipe is stupid that way

16 soft corn tortillas
16 Green onions, trimmed These are for the roasted onions, which, frankly, don't go very well on the tacos - they're too fibrous. Roast them, then chop them.
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil.


Place 6 cups of water in a Dutch Oven Bitch, please. I used a big pot. and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pork, the sliced onion, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar use more three tablespoons, plus a couple generous splashes, I'd say, of the vinegar and salt. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially, and simmer 1-1/2 hours. Remove pork with slotted spoon and cool slightly; reserve 1 cup cooking water. Reserve ALL the cooking water, as well as the mooshy onions. You don't know how much you'll need till later... Shred the pork with two forks or your fingers, like I did, which is VASTLY easier and set aside.

2) Place a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. I think I used a bigger skillet than this - probably 16" but the non-stick was probably a good point. Add the oil and chopped onion and cook 3 minutes; add garlic and cook 15 seconds. Add tomato sauce, chipotles, cumin, remaining 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, shredded pork, and one cup cooking water include the cooked onions in the cooking water! Cook 1-2 minutes to heat thoroughly.

At this point, taste the recipe, and now's when you should start deviating from the written instructions, and going buck wild. After the water has evaporated, I added more water, more adobo goo, the extra peppers, and 1/2 can of tomato paste, and a generous ladlefull of the onions from the cooking water, into a well in the center of the pork. Mash it around with the back of a wooden spoon, to dissolve the tomato paste, then stir throughout the mixture. Taste it, and adjust. You may need to splash in a bit more vinegar to give it more balls, or you may need to add more adobo goo. Keep adjusting using adobo peppers, tomato paste, and the cooking water, until it's as red as it's supposed to be, and dances around on your tongue. When it finally tastes right (and you'll KNOW when it does) evaporate off the cooking water, until it's just a liiiittle soupy, but can stand up on its own without running down into a puddle... Let it sit... it gets better with age.

To roast green onions: Preheat oven to 425. Place green onions on a baking sheet with a lip! drizzle oil over them, and toss gently to coat. Arrange in a single layer and bake 10 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt. CHOP THEM. TRUST ME.

To Roast Tortillas: Char tortillas over heat or grill about 15 seconds on each side until lightly charred I cooked 'em in a dry cast iron skillet, set over medium-high heat, flipping them when they really started smoking.

Put the pork in the tortillas, and top with green onion. Enjoy the best goddamned chipotle pork tacos... EVER.