Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tacos Anyone?

I realize that I might lean on my slow cooker a little bit too much.  There….I’ve admitted to my problem.  That’s the first step, right?  But it really is the perfect solution when you are leading a busy life, and you have a family that still demands dinner nightly.

I’ve said this before.  We have cheerleading practice, work, school, etc.  Weeknights are hectic.  Especially now that we are back in school.  I have no choice but to utilize my slow cooker a couple of times a week.  If I didn’t, we would be eating dinner closer to midnight then I am comfortable with.

Today I have one of my favorite recipes to show you.  I am going to show you how to make my amazing Pork Al Pastor….slow cooker style.  And admittedly, gringa style.

Pork Al Pastor is pork that is marinated in chilies, such as guajillo and then cooked lengthwise on a spit.  Slices of pineapple and onion are placed on top of the pork so that the flavor infuses the meat as it cooks.  The result is super tender pork that is slightly sweet, tangy and spicy.

This is a popular thing in Mexican taquerias.  The tacos are served with the pork and topped with cilantro and diced onion.  I have found this pork is good in pretty much anything….tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, tortas, shoved directly into my mouth, etc.

I, obviously, don’t have a spit in my house.  I use my slow cooker to achieve the tenderness, and I cook the pork in guajillo sauce, onion and crushed pineapple.  There is no need to marinade the meat when you are cooking it all day in the sauce.  Easy and everything is pretty easy to find in your local grocery store.

I start with a four pound pork shoulder.  I place this in my slow cooker on top of a lovely bed of onions.  I think the majority of my slow cooker meals start with a bed of onions.  What can I say….I’m an onion fan.

I pour my guajillo sauce and crushed pineapple over the pork and let it rip for eight to ten hours.  That’s it.  That is the whole recipe.  Tiny recipe, huge flavor.

BTW-I found my guajillo sauce at Safeway, but Wal-Mart has it too.  I used Herdez Red Guajillo Cooking Sauce.  If you can’t find that, enchilada sauce will work just fine.

When the meat is done, it shreds easily.  I usually return it to the pot to soak up even more of the cooking liquid.  I also usually drizzle some of the liquid over the top of whatever I am serving, from tacos to salads….don’t waste that delicious liquid!

I prefer to eat my pork al pastor in a taco with cilantro and onion, but my family likes to eat it their tacos with lettuce, tomato and cheese.  No matter how you fill your taco, you will love this pork.


You know what is a perfect end to this meal?  My “Short-cut” churros with Mexican chocolate.  I’m not saying to bust this out on a busy weeknight, but if you are looking to add something to your meal, and you’ve got the time……..I’ve included the recipe for you. 

Pork Al Pastor (Slow Cooker Style)

1 large onion, sliced

4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder

12 ounce jar Red Guajillo Chile sauce, Herdez

20 ounce can crushed pineapple, do not drain liquid

Place sliced onions in the bottom of slow cooker.  Place pork on top of onions.  Pour chile sauce and pineapple over the top.  Do not stir.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Shred meat and return to pot.

Serves 8


Shortcut Churros with Mexican Chocolate


1 can refrigerated breadsticks


Oil to fill deep pot


½ cup sugar


2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon Cinnamon, divided


4 ounces heavy cream


6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


1 teaspoon almond extract


Heat oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees over medium heat.  Deep fry separated breadsticks in hot oil, but

do not crowd pot.  Fry in batches.  Fry breadsticks for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown on

each side.  Drain on paper towels.

Stir together sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon.  Dredge hot “churros” in cinnamon sugar.

For Mexican Chocolate:

Heat cream in a microwave safe bowl for 45 seconds.  Whisk in chocolate chips.  When chocolate is

smooth, whisk in remaining cinnamon and almond extract.  Keep sauce warm and serve with churros.

Serves 6

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