Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
I realize that I should probably be writing an obligatory post in honor of the most Irish of Holidays, but I just didn’t want to. Believe me, I’m a fan of Irish food, or at least the American interpretation thereof; I love a good Irish breakfast, I have a great shepherd’s pie recipe (made with both bacon and Guinness, no less), and at the very least, bangers and mash is a lot of fun to say. I am also fully aware that if I pulled out a platter of corned beef and cabbage for dinner tonight, my wife would probably never speak to me again. After all, Irish people don’t actually eat corned beef, Irish-Americans do. So when you break out that “traditional Irish” dish, you’re actually celebrating the emigration of a people and the necessary culinary adaptations they undertook as a result of the availability of different resources. In short, in Ireland they ate mostly pork and sheep (hence sausages and shepherd’s pie), and in America the Irish ate beef… like AMERICANS. For a more comprehensive explanation – and a delicious looking recipe – check out this blog post from the Ranting Chef.
In lieu of a banger’s and mash recipe, or some other such creation, I’d like to share a recipe for pulled pork tacos that I made up off the top of my head on Saturday morning.
This recipes is – as always – inspired by a number of other recipes that I’ve made, although I aimed for a few specifics in designing this one. First, I tried to cater to my wife’s general aversion to lasting spice (you know, when it burns on the back of the tongue well after the bite is swallowed) by cutting back on the general amount of chili pepper that I included. I also aimed for a more robust sauce, which I then filled out with tomatoes and chilies, in order to appease the palate of a friend who’s partially averse to Mexican flavors. As a final move, I created a simple apple, cabbage, cilantro slaw in an attempt to balance the rich and juicy pork with something tangy and crunchy.
And it was a success… just ask our guests.
Ingredients (for the pork):
- 1 Pork Loin
- 4 Dried Pasillo Chiles
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ tbsp cumin
- ½ tbsp dried cilantro
- 1 tsp mexican oregano
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
Ingredients (for slaw):
- 1/2 head green cabbage – shredded
- 2 fuji apples – grated
- 2 carrots – grated
- ½ cup fresh cilantro – chopped
- 1 tbsp agave
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1.5 limes
Directions (for pork):
Place dried pasillos in a bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to steam as you prep the remaining pork ingredients.
Cut pork loin into quarters and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Place all of the other ingredients in the food processor, and blend until smooth. Remove the peppers from the water, remove the stems and seeds (they should pour right out), and place them in the blender/food processor, and blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture over the pork, which should be just covered.
Cook the pork and mixture on high for five hours, or until the pork can be pulled apart easily with a pair of forks.
Directions (for slaw):
Shred that shit and mix it all together.
Shred the pork and serve on tortillas with slaw, cilantro and a wedge of lime.