Slow Cooker Smoky Pork Tacos with Avocado and Feta

by Kristin on February 2, 2011

Feeling frazzled from the demands of two young children after a long month, I fired off an email to Kelly on Friday evening asking if I could hop on a plane and join her in Mexico, where she was spending the weekend for work. “I’m sitting on my balcony watching the waves crash on the beach, a little tipsy from my margarita. Wish you were here!” she wrote back. “I’m making a Rick Bayless recipe on Sunday, which is about as close as I’m likely to get to Mexico anytime soon,” I replied. As compromises go, at least it was a tasty one — I just wish I’d had the makings of a Rick Bayless margarita on hand too.

Slow Cooker Smoky Pork Tacos with Avocado and Feta
adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Serves 8

Rick Bayless calls this Smoky Pork Tinga Tacos in his book and says you can vary the recipe by replacing the pork with 2 lb (1 kg) of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or cubed boneless beef chuck (stewing beef). I picked up a couple cans of chipotle chilies on my trip back to the US this summer and have been rationing them for the past 5 months, but if you can’t get them, you should still try this recipe, perhaps using 1 or 2 chopped red chilies or using more chorizo, though you won’t get the same smoky taste. You can also buy dried, crushed chipotles from Seasoned Pioneers in the UK. Or if you don’t like spicy food, you can just leave out chilies altogether.

4 medium (1 lb/450 g) boiling potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 lb (1 kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 x 28 oz (or 2 x 400 g) cans of chopped tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted if you can get them)
3 or 4 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon chipotle canning sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 oz (100 g) chorizo, cut into small pieces (optional)
flour or corn toritllas, to serve
feta cheese, crumbled, to serve
2 large avocados, pitted and cubed, to serve
sour cream or natural yogurt, to serve
fresh cilantro, chopped, to serve

Spread the potatoes over the bottom of a slow cooker* and top with the sliced onions, then the pork. In a large bowl, mix the undrained tomatoes with the chillies, chipotle canning sauce, Worcestershire, oregano, garlic and salt. Pour the mixture evenly over the pork, onions and potatoes (don’t stir — keep everything in layers). Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

When you’re ready to eat, fry the optional chorizo in a skillet over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Uncover the pork tinga and spoon off any fat that might have accumulated on top. Add in the chorizo, then stir everything together, breaking the pork into small pieces that are suitable for tacos. Serve with warm corn tortillas, feta cheese, avocados, sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro to make soft tacos.

*Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker, lay the pork in a medium-large heavy pot, preferably a Dutch oven, and top with the potatoes and onions. Pour over the tomato mixture, cover with a lid and braise in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the pork is completely tender.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline@Bibliocook February 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Yum! Must add this to my list of SC recipes to try out. We’re big fans of Mexican food at the cottage.

Sheila Kiely February 2, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Double yum and love the simple styling – tortillas save on the washing up too. Who needs plates?!

SJ February 3, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hi!

I’m not sure where you are based but Hugo in Azteca (www.azteca.ie) has cans of Chipotles for sale in his restaurant, we did a cookery course with him a few months ago.

Cannot wait to try this recipe, don’t have a slow cooker so will have to do the oven method .. love Mexican and have been trying to find a good burrito recipe for ages , have you any suggestions where I would find one?

Love the blog, keep up the good work ;-)

SJ

Kristin February 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Hi SJ, thanks so much for the tip on where to get chipotles! The next time I’m in Dublin, I’ll definitely call in there to see if I can replenish my supply. I’m afraid I don’t have any burrito recipes I could recommend – I’m more of an enchilada fan myself. :)

Kristin February 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Oh, there were plates all right – never mind the kids keeping all the filling inside the tortilla, the adults tend to make a mess of them halfway through! I have yet to master the art of graceful enchilada eating. :)

Imen January 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

Smoky pork tacos sound soooooo perfect right about now…love Bayless recipes, may have to make some Margaritas too. Usually at about this time of year, we start Taco Tuesdays just to brighten things up a bit, but I wasn’t there yet so thanks for getting me there Kristin. Mexico would be nice too.
Imen xx

Kristin January 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Mexico and a margarita sound pretty damn good right now. Or even just the margarita. ;)

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