Recipe: Slow-cooker Pork Tinga
This time of year (Have I mentioned lately that it really is this time of year? Riding in to work at 6am and it’s already over 90 degrees…), one of the last things you want to do is fire up the oven and heat up the house. What’s a person to do when trying to cope with a craving for pulled pork? I suppose you could go out to eat at a good BBQ restaurant, but that’s not the kind of blog this is.
I’ve had this recipe for Pork Tinga in my folder for quite a while and yesterday seemed like the right time to bust it out. Here is how quick it is to make. I went home over my lunch break, stopping at the grocery to pick up the ingredients, did the prep and had it in the crock-pot within 20 minutes, then came back to work. By the time I got home from work, the magic had happened.
I took a few liberties with his original recipe, mostly in the amount of various seasonings. I doubled the amount of garlic and chipotle en adobo, and I think I’d increase the chipotle by half again. There is a lot of meat and sauce to season here.
When you de-glaze the pot you accomplish two things at once, you recover all the flavor left behind in the brown glaze on the bottom of the pot (and there is a lot of flavor there), and you end up with a almost-clean pot!
And there you go, ready to start cooking within 20 minutes of leaving the grocery store. It’s very hard to over-cook this in a crock-pot. Five hours on high or 9 hours on low or some combination thereof. I used about 4 hours on high and then another 3 on low because I got home a little later than I thought I would. If you’re around while it’s cooking, ladle the sauce over the roast once or twice sometime towards the back half. This is entirely optional.
Remove the pork to a serving dish or container and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, using two forks, shred the meat. If your pork is done, this step is trivial as the meat just falls apart. If it’s difficult to shred/pull it’s a sign that your pork hasn’t cooked long enough. Ladle a cup or so of sauce over the pulled pork and reserve the rest.
Now we had 5 pounds of fresh pulled pork and two starving adults, what do we do? I knew if I didn’t quickly think of something to do to turn this into a real meal that we’d end up standing over the tub of shredded pork eating pieces with our fingers until we stuffed ourselves. Where’s the downside to that you ask? Hard to say, but I can’t shake the picture in my mind of paramedics standing over two lifeless, bloated bodies in our kitchen, shaking their heads and muttering something about more veggies in our diet.
In a flash of inspiration I decided that this called for a quick Brinner (Breakfast for dinner), Huevos y Carnitas. I toasted some english muffins and scrambled some eggs with pork and some of the sauce. This added about 15 minutes to the meal prep, but it was so good it’s probably illegal now in Arizona. Mission accomplished and we still have plenty of Pork Tinga left over for later in the week!
Rating: 5 out of 5 Cervezas (it’s not just for breakfast anymore) for this Brinner. The Pork Tinga also gets 5 and I’m sure it will continue to get 5 as we use it up this week in tacos or pulled-pork sandwiches (which are really just the Anglo version of tacos) or whatever. Make this and be a hero in your own house!