roasted pork tacos & cookbook review II… tacos
since turkey day is this week, and since tomas will be home the majority of the week, i am holding off on making soup so we can enjoy all the leftovers from thursday instead. it’s kind of weird to not be making a soup honestly, i think i’ve made one almost every sunday since i moved here (almost six months now!).
since i’m not making a soup, i thought i would post one of my favorite recipes of tomas’s as well as a great cookbook to go along with his glorious pork! i remember the first time he made his roasted pork for me… i was still living in my old apartment and he had hung out there one day while i went to work. when i came home, i walked in on one of the most incredible smells ever!! he had been roasting a pork shoulder for about 4 hours and OMG was it succulent! it just falls apart in your fingers and melts in your mouth.
i could honestly go on and on about the amazingness of this pork, but i’ll let you discover its magic on your own 🙂 our favorite way to eat the pork is making tacos. now when i say tacos, i don’t mean your typical ground beef tacos with sour cream, shredded lettuce, cheese, etc. i mean authentic tacos. tomas is very particular about his tacos, and i learned early on what a true taco was all about.
one of the most important parts of a good taco is the tortilla – you have to make sure you get some nice soft corn tortillas, and they have to be warm when you serve them (microwave them in a dish towel before serving). if you have a good tortilla, the rest is easy.
when i found the cookbook tacos, by mark miller, i knew we had to have it. although i love coming up with new recipes, we both can very easily get stuck in a rut when it comes to tacos. this book is beautiful – the recipes are so creative, and the pictures make your mouth water in anticipation! one thing i love about this book is how much the author reminds me of tomas and his love for food. in the forward he talks about the summers he spent in mexico with family friends and the colorful markets he frequented with the women of the household. he speaks of these summers so romantically and it is clear his love of food and respect for culinary magic began in those markets.
“in the early mornings they would go to the market to buy the fresh masa for the day, the sweetest, most colorful fruits, the ripest fresh vegetables picked just hours earlier from local gardens, cuts of meat butchered from whole animals. i’d always tag along on this food adventure. when the day’s shopping was finished, we always had time for a taco – the street snack everyone eats when they’re not at home or when they don’t have the time or money to sit down at a restaurant.”
he lends recipes for homemade tortillas, vegetarian recipes with everything from squash blossoms to portobellos, and meats of several varieties – chicken, duck, calamari, lobster, tuna, swordfish, shrimp, red snapper, chorizo, bacon, pork carnitas (my personal favorite), and carne. there is a breakfast section with the classic huevos rancheros, and a cute little breakfast burrito. the last section, which should not be left behind or given any less credit, is the salsas section complete with ten different varieties that are each mouthwatering. this cookbook is all about authentic mexican cuisine, and it does an excellent job bringing these recipes to life! if you are even a tiny taco fan, you need to have this book! it will take your love for tacos to a whole new level and help you understand what a true mexican taco is all about!
now for tomas’s roasted pork recipe… this is a little rough because tomas NEVER uses a recipe and rarely keeps track of how much he uses of what 🙂
makes 1 pork shoulder
1 pork shoulder
1 onion, large chunks
4 cloves garlic, halved
4 dry bay leaves
1 bottle of a brown ale (dark beer of some kind)
preheat oven to 325.
start by rubbing the shoulder with s&p, and cumin (i know i didn’t put an amount here, it kind of depends on how big your shoulder is, just make sure all sides are rubbed well with the spice). sear all sides of the shoulder in a big stock pot with olive oil. add in the onion, bay leaves and garlic and cook with the pork until the onion is translucent.
add the beer to the pot and bring to a boil. once the beer is boiling, cover the pot and put it in the oven. cook for 3-4 hours (depending on the size of the shoulder again), until the meat comes apart easily when you putt on it.
we usually have some diced red onion, tomato, green onion, cilantro, limes, salsa and avocado ready to go in little bowls to create our own tacos once the meat is ready. have fun making your own taco creations with any fresh ingredients you love!!!