A few days ago the ladies in the lunchroom at work were talking about cooking meat in the slow cooker. It’s convenient, easy, doesn’t heat up the house in the summer (a Phoenix favorite) yet makes fantastic comfort food in the winter. The only problem: You end up with copious amounts of the same thing, and unless you have a small army to feed, eating it over and over again gets tired after a few days.
One way I combat this problem is with my cute little miniature Crock-Pot. I have the 2-quart in white, but this one in red is only $12 at Target—steal! It’s the perfect size to make just enough meat to last a couple meals for two or a couple meals along with leftover lunches for one. Plus, if you come up with different recipes for each of those two meals, you definitely won’t get sick of the meat you easily and conveniently made in that beloved slow cooker. Win-win-win.
These poor women’s woes gave me an idea, and yes, of course it involved tacos. It’s not the first time I’ve made slow cooker tacos, but this is the first time I’ve made a taco meat in the slow cooker that turns into two separate meals afterward. And this time it’s: Pork. Surprise! I’m not a big pork fan, but put it in a taco and you’ve got my attention.
The basis for this recipe comes from classic carnitas—pork shoulder slowly simmered with onion, garlic, cumin, a little oregano and, here’s the special twist, red wine. I wanted to add a flavor-packed liquid for the tender meat to fall apart in and thought dry wine would be just the ticket and a very Devon-style twist to make pork desirable (and addictive). For the first meal: all that tender, shredded, flavorful pork piled on soft corn tortillas then topped with red cabbage, onion, a little cilantro and a healthy squeeze of lime (add a couple shakes of hot sauce if you’re into that kind of thing).
- 1 pound boneless pork shoulder or stew meat
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ onion, sliced
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- 6 soft corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- Place the pork, cumin, salt, oregano, garlic, onion and wine in a small slow cooker (I use a 2-quart Crock-Pot). Let simmer on low for eight hours, or on high for four hours.
- Once the meat is cooked, shred it using two forks or a whisk right in the slow cooker. Separate the meat into two halves, set one half aside and package the other half in an air tight container and refrigerate for another meal (recipe coming later this week).
- Warm the corn tortillas, drain the meat and evenly distribute over the tortillas. Then, evenly distribute the cabbage, chopped onion and cilantro on top of the meat and serve with any other additional toppings such as hot sauce, salsa, guacamole or sour cream.