(This is really old. I've been hanging onto these pictures for a few months now, and I finally figured it was time to write a post about them. Also, I really want this book, which just came out, and seeing it reminded me to post about tacos.)
After reading a bunch of posts on Serious Eats on a Saturday morning a few months ago, I had a craving for pulled pork tacos, so, it was off to Wegman's to get the ingredients:
Canned tomatoes with green chilis
Assorted spices and herbs
Assorted toppings and sides (you'll see them, but the sides are another whole post in themselves).
Once back home, I immediately marinated the pork shoulder:
It was a while back, but I think I see lime juice, lime zest, whole hunks of lime (I like limes), cilantro, chili powder (a secret blend), cumin, olive oil, and black pepper. I probably threw some chopped garlic in there, too. If I liked things spicy, I'd put in a few fresh chilis, but I don't really like the heat, so I left them out. You guys can add them, though.
After the pork marinated for a bit (I think like 3 or 4 hours, you could definitely marinate it for longer though, but I'd cut back on the acid if you're marinating overnight), I took the pork out of the fridge and brought it up to room temperature. Then, I browned it in my awesome 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset french Oven:
First, please ignore my filthy stove, I've since cleaned it. Second, as you can see, there was some burning of the spices at the bottom of the oven - no worries, just take the pork out, rinse out your pot, and start browning your onions (you do NOT want that burned chili powder taste in your tacos, believe me):
Notice the pork resting patiently before it's bath on the side.
Once the onions were browned, I added a few cracked cloves of garlic and some tomato paste and cooked that for about 1 minute. Then I added the pork back in, along with some chicken stock and a 14-oz can of tomatoes with green chilis, enough liquid to come about 2/3 of the way up the side of the pork.
Next, I brought the whole mixture up to a simmer on the stove, skimmed off the excess fat and foamy stuff that came to the surface, turned the heat way, way down and covered the pot. I braised it until the pork was falling apart (I have no idea how long, as I no longer remember what size pork shoulder I bought, but it was probably in the neighborhood of 3 -4 hours). I periodically skimmed the braising liquid and kept the liquid at a very low simmer. Once the pork was done, I shredded it up and placed it neatly on a plate along with some other taco toppings, cheese, cilantro, and a chimichurri-like sauce:
I guess it's hard to be neat with a big mass of shredded pork.
Then, I made up a nice plate for myself, two tacos, some black beans, and some corn:
DE-lish. I think I had some wine, but this would be even better with some freshly made margaritas. You can get a head start on the drinking while the pork is braising. It makes the 4 hours go by even more quickly.