For my birthday, one of my awesome friends gave me a slow cooker. I had never used one before. Honestly, the whole concept seems like cheating to me. Then there's the part of me that wants to constantly be able to poke, flip, re-season, etc. Putting something in a pot and not touching it for 8 hours just seemed wrong. Plus, I'm supposed to leave something plugged in and HOT while I'm not home? It still scares me.
But I'm determined to overcome my aversions and fears. What better way to start? Pork roast. I trimmed an 8lb pork shoulder of most of its fat, and marinated it overnight with chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, and lemon and lime juice. The next morning, I put a couple of thick slices of onion on the bottom of the cooker, plopped in the pork, filled the gaps with chunks of carrots and potatoes, and dumped in the marinade. Then I walked away.
Really. I actually left the house. But after 3 hours I was way too paranoid and came home. Of course, everything was fine. The pork continued to cook for another 5 hours. The result? The tenderest pork roast I've ever had. It broke into three pieces when I took it out of the slow cooker. And shredding? Just threaten it with a fork and it falls apart. OK, slow cookers are cool.
So now I have a huge amount of "roasted" pork. What to do? Tacos!
I made a quick chile sauce (toast dried chiles, de-seed and tear into pieces, toss in a blender with skillet-seared onion and garlic, add the liquid left from the pork shoulder, and blend), and mixed it with the pork. Warm a couple corn tortillas, spoon in the pork, and top with whatever you like. I like avocado, grilled green onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
I still have a ton of pork left...more to come...