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Shredded Pork Tacos with Apple-Celery Slaw

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!


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