Our recent excursion to The Green Pig Bistro not only peaked my interest in Northern style cornbread but also amazed us with their wonderful “Pig Tacos” appetizer. The taste and presentation had our table ringing with conversation. As usual, I started to inspect, dissect, and save to memory the details so I could replicate them at home. It’s just a regular ol’ soft taco with great tasting pork. It had the usual corn tortilla, lettuce, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and meat. One extra was that they served it with lime wedges to squeeze on top, which topped it off rather nicely.
From here, it’s all about the meat. We needed a good pork shoulder that we could spice and slow cook all day long. I picked up a 2lb pork shoulder (aka pork butt) and went searching for the seasoning.
Lesson #234: Buy your pork shoulder with the bone IN. It costs less and cooking the bone will make things taste better.
I settled on a carnitas spice/rub that turned out great. It’s a simple mixture of spices rubbed on the meat.
Right into the center of the slow cooker it goes.
The chicken stock you see the pork being bathed in is my own creation as well. A dismantled whole chicken (bones) boiled with celery, carrots, onions, and salt to taste. I always have the Mrs. salt my foods because I tend to hate salt. It’s a long story…maybe one day I’ll post about that.
The pork slowly cooks for 8-10 hours on low.
The Mrs. was in charge of the toppings while I moved on to making the corn tortillas.
At this point you could stop and use corn or flour tortillas depending on your mood and this would be a pretty quick meal to whip together (minus the 8 hour cook time). Or… you could go that extra mile and make your own tortillas. That’s what I did.
Corn tortillas are probably the simplest things to make. It’s maseca flour + water + salt.
You mix the 3 ingredients together and create a slightly moist ball of dough.
Then divide the dough into evenly sized smaller balls of dough that will ultimately become your tortillas.
The part I left out here is how I flattened each ball into a 5-6″ circle. It involved covering the dough in plastic wrap, placing on a cutting board and then squashing them with a 9″ square glass baking dish. It’s a little unorthodox but I’m not going to buy a tortillas press just for this, although I did ask the Mrs. if I could. I also left out a picture of cooking them up, which is just a hot cast iron skillet, ~40 seconds on each side. Nothing real exciting.
The Mrs. is big on presentation, which I actually think makes the whole meal taste better.
After the pork had been cooking for 8-10 hours it’s ready to just fall apart. I take two forks and shred it. I add in some of the chicken broth to keep it moist and it’s ready to eat. You can also see the stack of cooked tortillas, which look pretty darn good if I say so myself.
The final assembled product looked like this. Corn tortilla, pork, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. It was a wonderful dinner and we had leftovers for lunch the following day.