Pork tacos

I will do just about anything to avoid turning on the stove in the summer heat. Unfortunately, my kids don’t like salad…. To make my life easier, I like to make a braised dish each week that can be cooked ahead and reheated for dinner the next day–or a few days. Pork butt is really flavorful and, when cooked low and slow, becomes tender and moist. That tenderness comes from all the fat the cut contains, but it’s easy to remove it after cooking. I make this roast in the slow cooker. You can leave it all day while you are at work, or cook it overnight. This recipe is really versatile and can be used for tacos (which is what we had tonight), pulled pork sandwiches, or eaten by itself–maybe with some summer corn and refried beans. Four or five pounds of pork is enough for at least two meals, plus some snacks. By the way, despite its name, this cut of pork is from the top of the shoulder.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork for sandwiches or tacos

Ingredients:
Boneless Boston butt pork roast, about 4-5 pounds

Dry rub:
1 ½ tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 bottle beer or 2 cups red wine (either way is delicious)

Mix together dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Using your hands, rub spices evenly over the pork. Let rest in a Pyrex baking dish on the counter for no more than an hour or in the refrigerator up to overnight.

Place pork in a slow cooker and pour beer or wine over. Cover and cook on high until the meat is tender and falling apart, about 7-8 hours. Remove pork from cooking liquid and place liquid in the freezer to solidify the fat. When meat is cool enough to handle, remove fat and chop meat coarsely. Remove cooking liquid from freezer and remove fat layer that has risen to the top and solidified. Reheat liquid and add to the meat to moisten it.

For pork tacos: Serve with warm corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, sliced avocados, cilantro, grated cheese, etc. Serve refried beans on the side.

Pico de gallo
(makes two cups):

3 tomatoes, cored and chopped
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients in a small bowl.

For pulled pork sandwiches: Add 1 tbsp. cider vinegar to the pork. Serve on a bulkie roll with barbeque sauce if desired. Coleslaw is a must.

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