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Shredded Pork Tacos with Apple-Celery Slaw

29 comments /
Where the heck did all of our money go?  I mean, is this an extra long month or wtf is going on around here!?  I feel like it's been ages since last payday...and we're running pretty low on provisions!  I've been scavenging...searching the pantry and fridge over and over and over again...waiting for something to appear.  Something that will jump out and give me a pang in the tummy.  Something that says EAT ME!  No. Such. Luck. I hate that.  Oh sure...there's sh*t there, but nothing that sounds good.  Maybe I'm just spoiled.  Ah, the life of a food-lover.  Something I did remember, though...about mid-way through last month, I bought a mondo pork butt.  I love pork butt!  After bacon, it's my favorite part of the pig!!!  So, I boned the pork butt and cut it into chunks and put it in freezer bags.  Labeled with the weight, even...I love it when I have the foresight to make my future life easier.  So, I pulled out a bag yesterday.  If all else fails, pull out the pork butt.  In my mind, I was scrambling to put a Bittman recipe to my pork (since I don't have anything for IHCC yet this week).  I pulled out my trusty Kitchen Express...and found a tasty sounding pork taco recipe.  Scan pantry for masa.  Check!  He grills pork in this recipe, while still noting that the shoulder is best.  As far as I know, if I woulda grilled my pork, it wouldn't have been tender enough for my liking.  No worries, though...I just took his basic idea and ran with it.  Same spices...only I use brown sugar instead of white.  Although, he only says sugar; doesn't specify.  So?  His recipe also calls for fennel in the slaw...which I TOTALLY wish I had since I really love fennel...yet haven't had at all this year.  But, he says celery would be a good sub...and celery I had.  Ah Mark...Kitchen Express really rocks my world.

Shredded Pork Tacos with Apple-Celery Slaw
inspired by Pork Taco recipe in Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express

19 oz. pork butt, cut into 2" chunks
Chipotle Chile Powder
Ground Cumin
Paprika
Brown Sugar
Bacon Grease
Stock/Water

Apple, any crisp variety
celery
olive oil
freshly squeezed lemon juice

homemade corn tortillas

Place the pork in a zippered baggie and sprinkle it with some chile powder, paprika, cumin, and brown sugar.  Toss it around to coat all the pieces.  Refrigerate for a few hours.

Preheat a medium saucepan w/ deep sides.  Throw in a heaping Tbs. of bacon grease.  Sauté the marinated pork chunks until brown on all sides.  Pour in enough stock or water to just cover and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to a steady simmer.  Continue to cook for ~2-2½ hrs., or until pork is fall-apart tender, adding more liquid as needed.  Turn off heat and shred with a fork.

Slice the apple and celery very thin.  Toss with a bit of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Pile the shredded pork into hot corn tortillas and top with the crunchy slaw!
I'm gonna have to say...these were pretty stinkin' good.  The pork was slightly sweet...it also had a slight heat.  The cool, tart CRUNCH! of the Apple-Celery Slaw leant the perfect contrast to the meltingly tender pork and the hot, earthy tortillas. Me likey.

This is my IHCC Crunchy vs. Creamy entry for this week.  And if you're cooking along with us at IHCC, we only have FOUR weeks left to cook with Bitty! Man, six months flies when you're having fun.  We're currently voting for our next cook/chef...who we will cook with/from for SIX WHOLE MONTHS!!!   If you want to join in, we're moving on to the ladies next time...in the running: Lidia Bastianich, Giada DeLaurentiis, Sara Moulton, & Cat Cora.  If you have a preference...be sure to click over to the site and vote for the one YOU want to cook with for the next six months, starting in October...just look on the right hand sidebar for the poll!


IHCC

29 comments

  1. What a great idea to label the weight of the pork, I always wish that I had done that! This looks wonderful, even without the fennel :)

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  2. Ha! I hear ya. I got a freezer full of food, but always thinking I've got nothing to eat :) The tacos look divine. I'm sure pork butt is the answer to world peace.

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  3. I will eat you, taco! Pork butt=world peace? =)

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  4. When in doubt, whip out the butt! I love it. Great slaw, I love the appley goodness. Nice and crunchy and sweet.
    I know eh? Where does the cash go? And I am Canadian, so beer counts as groceries..

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  5. Labeled my freezer bags... It's probaly something that I should do more often! And, I love pork butt too. (pork butt and pork tenderloin!) With these spices and the brown sugar in your recipe, it's sure that your tacos are really tasty!

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  6. This is a great post but I have a confession to make. I have NEVER cooked pork butt in a smaller quantity than a 6lb piece! I need to follow your lead and buy one to use in smaller recipes like this.

    Pork shoulder is fantastic in sausages, carnitas and so many things but when I'm cooking I always just want to smoke it for pulled pork. I'm missing out!

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  7. Pork butt rules! So versatile, so wonderful, so cheap:) I noticed that whenever I buy it, the people at the check-out lane at the store stare at me and some bravely ask, "What do you do with it?" I guess it looks kind of odd with the skin and fat on. Don't know...
    I label my freezer bags, but in Serbian, which always throws my poor non-Serbian-speaking husband into a loop (he can read it, though, which means nothing, of course).
    Pork tacos are great. Celery? Let me try it and find out. I am always on the lookout for a new, easy, and cheap recipe:)
    BTW, how do you manage to be everywhere and accomplish everything??? I am flabbergasted and confused.

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  8. This looks marvelous. Pork in any form is always a hit with me. Now I am off to check out your recipe for corn tortillas.

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  9. where did all the money go? yeah I hear you... it runs out fast right? and yeah I too love pork butt... it's so versatile and very cheap... love the taco with the apple slaw.. hmmm yum!

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  10. Que buenos tcos te has marcado por aquí. Saludos

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  11. I loves me some pork butt! ;-) And even better in tacos with crunchy slaw on top. Great pick! ;-)

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  12. The combo sounds fantastic, very yummy indeed...!

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  13. I love it when I do things to make my life easier. Sadly, those moments are few and far between. Foresight is certainly something I lack.

    This looks fantastic! I adore pork butt. Especially shredded. Especially in taco form. Way to clean-out-the-freezer with such a tasty dish!

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  14. I gave a small pork roast in the freezer that I have been thinking of doing exactly this Heather. Thanks for the push.

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  15. these look yum - versatile too, I bet you could use shredded chicken or beef too

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  16. Ah, you sound like my teenagers, they walk around the kitchen opening doors and drawers and come out "there is nothing to eat" but unlike them you are able to connoct deliciousness from nothing! I love pork butt!

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  17. Looks mouth-watering good! In fact, it's only 8:30 am, and my mouth is watering! Yum!

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  18. OMG that looks so, so good!!! And I love that you use bacon grease -- it's a precious commodity. Tom looks at me askance when I save it after cooking bacon; to him, it's just bad fat. Sure it is -- so is oil, butter, and even his beloved Earth Balance butter substitute. But bacon grease has FLAVOR!!! So a little bit thrown in adds a lot to the overall dish with a negligible fat content, to my mind. And ya know what? I'd rather die happy with bacon grease on my tongue than die with flavorless natural substitutes. Yeah!!!

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  19. these look amazing...we love shredded pork tacos around here. so...the cookies you asked about (which i took down b/c i am playing with my header these days) can be found here: http://fudgeripple.blogspot.com/2010/01/c-is-for-cookie.html
    it is simple and they are delicious.
    hope you are having a great weekend!
    christy

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  20. this sounds fab!!! pork butt is my favorite too! chops and loins are ok...but you gotta love that butt!

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  21. I really need to make this it looks so great!! I haven't eaten meat in a LONG time! :) Just butchered last week and meat it hard to face for a while.

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  22. What a fresh & delish looking taco u 've made!!!
    Will try the recipe with chicken or fish!

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  23. Don't you love when everything falls into place. Gotta love the Bittman. Great pic for theis weeks challenge. I'm still trying to decide for ours.

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  24. Looks like a redneck taco to me! I have some pork in my freezer too, but it's a humongous piece that I probably won't pull out unless we're having company. These tacos sound sooooo good. Love the slaw!

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  25. This looks pretty dog-gone good Heather, actually delicious. I'm a big fennel fan too. But the crisp crunch of apple or fennel sounds wonderful.

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  26. I know you did not force me, but I just went to the store to buy some bacon for BLTs, and sneaked a pork butt in the basket. Husband pretended not to see (he LOVES the butt, but I always harp on him when he meanders beyond the list).
    Two days off looming ahead. I think some slow cooking pork is in order!

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  27. Love the sound of these with the apple slaw - the spicy and sweet and the textures - completely delicious and totally satisfying!

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