Since our trip to Mexico for our honeymoon nearly 5 years ago, we have redefined the way Mexican is cooked and eaten in our house. Tacos are at least a fortnightly occurrence at our place and the kids love them (they have them pizza style – see photo below) – Mark is always asking for them!
With the use of the slow cooker, they are really very easy, tasty and much nicer than the old school mince and taco mix. They take about 5-10 minutes of preparation before they go in the slow cooker, 6-8 hours of cooking (with no attendance needed) and then about 15 minutes to make the accompaniments.
I also love how simply they can be changed around – replacing red cabbage with white cabbage; varying the contents of the coleslaw – cabbage, capsicum, corn, onion, chilli, lettuce, coriander – different combinations give different tacos. Also, if have leftovers and can’t be bothered heating up tortillas, you could try a completely different take on a Mexican classic, you could omit the actual tortillas and have a pulled pork salad using just the filling, making a lighter lunch alternative.
The rub for this pork can be applied the day night before to allow the flavour to seep into the meat, but not required as the 6-8 hours gives plenty of time for flavour dispersion.
A key step when slow cooking is to brown the meat with spices wherever possible. This gives a fuller flavour to any slow cooked meal.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 500g pork shoulder
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 long red or green chilli (more if you like it hot!)
- 1.5 cups grated cheese
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbs dried oregano
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 small red cabbage, grated
- 1/3 cup coriander roughly chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- kernels of 1 corn cob
- 2 tbs natural yoghurt
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 avocado
- 2 tbs natural yoghurt
- 6 cherry tomatoes, diced (optional)
- squeeze of lime juice
- Combine spice rub ingredients and rub into pork. This can be left overnight to marinade.
- If your slow cooker has a brown function, heat oil in slow cooker and brown all sides of the pork in slow cooker or heat a non stick fry pan over medium heat with olive oil and brown all sides of the pork.
- Remove from the heat/turn to slow cook mode, and add the tomato paste and chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Place into slow cooker.
- Top with red onion, garlic and chilli.
- Set to low on slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours. If you don’t have a slow cooker, this can be cooked in a crockpot in the oven at 120°C for 4-6 hours.
- The coleslaw and guacamole can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, if needed.
- For the coleslaw, combine all ingredients and mix well. If making ahead of time, leave the yoghurt and juice until just before serving.
- For the guacamole, place avocado in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add yoghurt, lime juice and tomatoes.
- Grate cheese into a bowl.
- Heat the tortillas as per the packet – I use the toasted sandwich maker and it takes about 5 seconds per tortilla.
- Place all of the components into a tortilla and enjoy!
- I would recommend 2-3 small tortillas per person.