Okay, I have mention a couple topics I was going to talk about once I felt I had time. Close enough.
First, shredded pork tacos, as shown in this pictorial. The kids normally get the various ingredients loose on their plate, which is handy for pictures that show said ingredients.
Here is the recipe as originally found [dead link – glad I replicated the recipe below] here:
4 Flour tortillas (or taco shells)
1 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup enchilada sauce
1 Boneless pork roast 2 1/2 lbs
Choice of toppings such as shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives (ick), avocado, sour cream, or presumably anything else you might think is appropriate.
Trim the fat and put the pork in a crockpot, add broth, and cook on low 8 – 10 or high 4 – 5 hours.
Remove meat and discard broth. Shred meat. Put 2 cups of the meat in a medium saucepan, mixing with the enchilada sauce and heat on low to medium heat until hot.
Heat the tortillas or taco shells as needed and assemble as desired, like any other taco.
I was tempted to experiment, but I stuck with the recipe as closely as I could. In my case, “chicken broth” meant a single chicken bullion cube dissolved in a cup of hot water (I fill a Pyrex cup and microwave 2 minutes, then drop in the cube).
In my case, I had five frozen pork loin steaks that came to about the right weight, which it turned out made exactly two batches of meat filling. I used the crockpot on high about four hours, flipping the meat a few times.
The pork came out tasty but extremely salty. Probably salt content of the bullion combined with the cooking method soaking it in so well.
I had a 10 oz can of I forget which brand of enchilada sauce. That made half a can close enough to what the recipe required for each batch. I would imagine brands of the sauce vary. I can see why you’d use it as a quickie surrogate for the type of liquid and spices you’d use in traditional taco meat.
We used our standard burrito size flour tortillas, which we heat on a round flat pan, flipping a time or three as needed. When I start burning my fingers, it’s hot enough. Heh. You can tell, and it’s a matter of taste whether you want only to soften, or to crisp them slightly. The former is more traditional, but kids happen.
I shredded a bunch of cheese. For this sort of thing we usually do a mix of Monterey jack and medium cheddar, but it depends what we have. The second night of these it was mostly a Colby/jack marbled cheese that’s tasty on crackers. The anti-veggie crowd might stop there, or there plus sour cream.
We had lettuce and tomato on hand, so I cut up some of that. The girls have a surprising love of that stuff, especially tomato.
We put it together and it was fantastic. It tasted oddly similar to something you’d eat at Taco Bell. Fascinating.
Which makes me think of my reaction when I bought cumin for the first time. Cumin smells like Taco Bell. So I assumed cumin is an ingredient of enchilada sauce and… Helllloooo Google!… I looked it up and sure enough, it is. In fact, my impression is that enchilada sauce is essentially Mexican gravy. Some recipes call for tomato sauce. Others don’t. They all call for oil, flour, water or beef stock, and spices, prepared similarly to the way I would make gravy. Go figure.
Anyway, I was looking at recipes for barbecue shredded pork when I found the taco recipe. Those are an interesting and varied lot. I’ll want to try the taco variant again, but in a more do-it-yourself, experimental way. I’d also like to try the barbecue variant, which I should be able to pretty much make up as I go along. I wouldn’t object if anyone has a good recipe to share, though.
On a final note, some of the barbecue shredded pork recipes actually call for cloves. I’m intrigued by that. I have some whole cloves and would love to use them more. They smell divine. I had thought of them as being much stronger and more bitter than these give the impression of being. I could see it being good, imbuing the pork with a hint of cloves to work with the relatively strong flavor of barbecue sauce.