Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pulled Pork Tacos

One of my favorite things to do during the week is to go to my best friend, Nicoll's house for dinner.  I chop, she cooks, we have some wine and catch up on what is going on in our worlds.  We try to do this once a week-ish and I always go home feeling like I have just seen the best therapist on earth.  By that point, there is not a problem we haven't solved or a funny story we haven't shared! 

It is a true blessing in life to have a best friend, especially one who can cook!   Nicoll and I have been friends since we were freshmen at Harpeth Hall and have remained close ever since.  It is safe to say that we both know where the proverbial bodies are buried!  When I go to her house I am always greeted by her sweet husband, Stephen, with a warm hug and instant "Murphy SIT!"  It instantly brightens my day no matter what kind of day it has been.  Sometimes Stephen joins us for dinner and we laugh our way through the meal, but sometimes he does his own thing and we do our own thing.  This is how we were the other night when Nicoll cooked the most incredible Pulled-Pork Tacos. 

Pulled Pork Tacos

2  cups  store-bought salsa, plus more for serving
2  tablespoons  chili powder
2  tablespoons  dried oregano
2  tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa powder
Kosher salt
1  2 1/2-pound boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
18  corn tortillas
1/2  cup  fresh cilantro sprigs
3/4  cup  sour cream
1  lime, cut into wedges

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the pork and turn to coat.  Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.  

Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven to 350° F. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in foil, and bake until warm, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, using 2 forks, shred the pork and stir into the cooking liquid. Serve with the tortillas, cilantro, sour cream, lime, and extra salsa.  

Tip: When using a slow cooker, resist the urge to lift the lid until the dish has cooked the minimum amount of time specified in the recipe. Each peek allows heat to escape and can increase cooking time by as much as a half hour.
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