On any given Saturday or Sunday at our house, it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll find Chandler (my husband–I don’t think I mention his actual name a lot around here) in the kitchen, beer in hand, a little mix of Ice Cube and T-Swift, and maybe some Creedence blasting (there’s a little something for everyone), cooking up some awesome meal. And in this case, the sweet smell of spices and pork slowly cooking away for some seriously amazing tacos. Cooking is his jam and his happy place, which makes us a pretty great team, since most nights I have a hard time just getting past the “what should we have for dinner?” part of it all.
So, I’m excited today to share one of the first of hopefully many more of his recipes here. In fact, I’ve got a whole folder full of photos of stuff he’s cooked and I’ve photographed, that I’ve never gotten around to sharing. So, grab a beer (or your beverage of choice) and let’s talk tacos, shall we? And let me warn you ahead of time, this cooks enough food for an army (or as may be in my case, a big Utah family ).
Whenever we have company over for meals, I stress about what to cook (or what I’m going to ask Chandler to cook, I guess is what I should say) and making sure that it’s something everyone can enjoy. I feel like tacos are always a pretty sure bet. AmIRight? I mean, who doesn’t like tacos? Seriously. Is there even such a thing as someone who doesn’t like tacos? Anyway, I think it’s a sure bet, so it’s a go-to for us, and with this recipe that uses a whole pork shoulder, there’s plenty of seconds, thirds, and even fourths for the whole crowd. Or, if we’re just cooking these for us, the leftovers are great for quick weeknight sheet pan nachos, or my favorite: over a bowl of polenta with avocado and cilantro (I’ll share that one in the future).
I love an easy recipe that takes a little bit of prep in the morning and then just slowly simmers away and fills the house with that good smell throughout the rest of the day. I remember on Sundays as a kid watching my mom or dad standing in the kitchen, prepping something in the morning before church and then coming home to that sweet smell of Sunday dinner and waiting all day while we lazed around until it was time to finally eat it. Maybe that’s why I love things like this so much, and there’s the added bonus that you “set it and forget it” and go about your Sunday.
And before I get into the recipe (below), I’m going to let you in on my favorite secret ingredient to next-level tacos: FETA. If you’re a Feta person, sprinkle a little on your next taco. Any taco. That salty goodness with a little Cholula or Sriracha–beyond!Enough rambling, let’s get to Chandler’s awesome pork tacos.
- 5 lb pork shoulder (this is usually the smallest I can find)
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 (15oz.) can enchilada sauce
- 1 bulb garlic, peeled and smashed
- 16 oz Coca Cola
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- Taco Toppings (optional):
- Small Corn or Flour Tortillas
- Shredded Cabbage
- Diced Avocado
- Diced Tomato
- Hot Sauce (I love Sriracha or Cholula)
- Lime Wedges
- Chopped Cilantro
- Roughly dice sweet onion (into large chunks) and line the bottom of your slow cooker with the onion.
- Trim most of the fat from the meat and place trimmed meat in slow cooker on top of the onion.
- In a medium saucepan, combine enchilada sauce, smashed garlic cloves, Coca Cola, cumin, and salt. Simmer the sauce mixture over medium to medium high heat, stirring occasionally until reduced by 1/4.
- Optional: If you want a little more flavor, you can roast the garlic in the oven first or chop it and sautee it in a little oil before you add it to the sauce mixture.
- When sauce is reduced, pour it over the meat and onions in the slow cooker, leaving about 1 inch of the pork exposed. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the exposed pork.
- Cook on low for 1 hour per pound. THIS RECIPE IS BEST COOKED ON LOW.
- Remove the pork when done cooking and roughly shred. Set aside. Transfer the liquid from the slow cooker back into a sauce pan over medium to medium high heat and reduce again by about 1/2.
- Place pork and meat back in slow cooker and CAREFULLY stir together (if you stir too much, the pork with continue to shred and you'll have a sloppy mess). Let the pork and sauce hang out together for about 10-15 minutes and then serve.