Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Crispy Crockpot Carnitas Tacos with Mango Salsa

It's Taco Tuesday y'all! Is there any other reason that a day of the week starting with a "T" to share with you my BEST taco recipe to date? No joke. Crispy taco shells. Crunchy pulled pork. Sweet juicy mango salsa. Everything is right in the world. We had these three days in a row. No exaggeration. I am finding it hard to put full sentences together they are that good. Sooooo instead of rambling on and on. I'll just leave the recipe and some photos here for you and you can be the judge. 

Crispy Crockpot Carnitas Puffy Tacos with Mango Salsa

  • 3-4 lb. bone-in pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp. high heat oil (like canola)
  • 12-oz. vegetable broth (can substitute for beer if you prefer)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Mango Salsa:
  • 1 mango, peeled, seed removed, and chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. red onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
  • pinch of salt
  • canola oil (enough to fill pot 2-3 inches full)
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • shredded Monterey jack or cotija cheese

Heat the high-heat oil over high heat in a large heavy duty cast-iron skillet. Season the pork shoulder on both sides with just a bit of salt and pepper. Sear pork in the hot oil, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until slightly browned all over.

Meanwhile, add in the rest of the pork ingredients from the broth all the way to the pepper into a crockpot. Mix together and place the seared pork shoulder on top. Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 10 hours. I prefer to pop mine in right around dinnertime, and then when I wake up the next morning, like magic, the pork is cooked perfectly tender!

To make the mango salsa, simply mix together all of the listed ingredients until combined. Then place into the fridge until ready to use. Can be made up to 1 day ahead.

Once cooked, remove the pork from the crockpot and place into a tupperware container in the fridge if you are not using right away. Drain the liquid though a find mesh sieve, catching all of the onion, garlic, and any pork remains, then toss, reserving the liquid.

When ready to crisp up the carnitas, lay the shredded pork onto a single layer on a baking sheet. Pour about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid over the top and broil in the oven for a few minutes, until the edges are crispy.

To make the crispy tacos, heat the 2-3 inches of oil over medium heat. To test when the oil is ready, simply drop a small piece of tortilla into the oil and if it fries up right away, you know that it is ready. Careful not to turn the heat up too high, because the oil can easily burn.

Drop the first corn tortilla into the oil and wait for it rise back to the top and begin to puff slightly. Then with a pair of metal kitchen tongs, hold the sides of the tortilla down, creating a shell shape/fold, and hold there for 20-30 seconds until the tortilla holds the shape on its own. Remove to a paper towel to drain off the excess oil and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

To assemble the tacos, simply place the crispy carnitas in the center of the puffy tacos shells and top with mango salsa and shredded cheese.

Then invite me over so we can share!

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