Slow Cooker Pork Tinga Tacos
The single dish I make at home more than any other, hands down, is a taco. I’m sure the fact that I live in a city where taquerias are more common than fast food joints has something to do with it. I’m influenced by my surroundings.
But really, it’s a practical decision. I can turn any odd bits that live in my fridge into breakfast, lunch or dinner in under five minutes. Usually there’s a vegetable involved, sometimes I add an egg or beans, avocado often figures into the equation, and a pile of fermented vegetables usually lands on top (Wild Brine’s Red Beet and Cabbage and Farmhouse Culture’s Kraut are favorites). To finish, there’s always a spoonful of salsa or squirt of sriracha.
While mine is not your typical taco, I do hit all the flavor notes advised by Enrique Olivera, a world famous Mexico City chef whose restaurant Pujol has an entire eight-course set menu devoted to the taco. These Slow Cooker Pork Tacos also hit all the right notes: heat from the chipotles, richness, thanks to the pork and avocado, and acidity when finished with a squeeze of lime.
The recipe is the fifth in my Cook from Books series. This time, it’s from a single subject book, worshipping at the temple of the taco. Appropriately titled, Taco! Taco! Taco!, it’s written by chef, registered dietitian, and mom, Sara Haas, which means it’s full of great recipes, but with a mind towards good nutrition.
The book takes a fresh look at the taco, with dozens of recipes that range from traditional to inventive. These tinga ones jumped out at me for fall, since it feels like slow cooker season. Pork loin is an excellent cut for Crock Pot cooking because it benefits from that low and slow heat. The result is fork-tender meat, packed with flavor, and excellent spooned over tortillas with all your favorite fixings.
Find the recipe below and follow Sara on Instagram. She’s an inspiration.
If you’re interested in the other Cook from Books recipes, you can find them here:
Slow Cooker Pork Tinga Tacos
For the pork:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- One 7-ounce can tomatillo salsa (or about 1 cup tomatillo salsa)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chipotle chile canned in adobo
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, from canned chipotle chiles
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
- One 2-to 2 1⁄2-pound boneless pork loin roast
- 12 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
- Toppings: shredded lettuce such as romaine, shredded red or green cabbage, thinly sliced radish, crumbled cotija cheese, sliced or diced avocado
To make the sauce
Set a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatillo salsa and garlic, cook 1 more minute. Stir in the chipotle and adobo and remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender along with the broth or water and carefully puree until smooth (alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to puree).
To cook the pork:
Place pork in the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour pureed sauce over the pork, then cover with a lid and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
To shred the pork
Using two forks, shred the pork (this can be done inside the slow cooker). Toss with the sauce and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes to meld flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble the tacos
Serve pork in warmed tortillas, then top with shredded lettuce, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radish, and cotija cheese.
SERVING TIP: Pile the veggies on for these tacos! The crunchier, the better!
Recipe reprinted with permission from Sara Haas, author of Taco!Taco!Taco!