I heart Rick Bayless. He has been considered by many to be the greatest contribution to Mexican cuisine. Frankly, I agree. If you study his approach to Mexican food, the ingredients, the preparation, its origin – you can understand his deep respect and desire to honor the integrity of the cuisine. Watching him most recently on Top Chef Masters, he is a man that considers every minute detail in a dish. Every ingredient and technique is meticulously planned and executed. In his books, his explanations on how to prepare each dish are excellent and detailed. It’s a shame that I have not attempted more of his amazing recipes, because the bottom line is: each one is great.
And these tacos are no exception. They’re not just great – they’re awesome. The potatoes soften and create a creamy texture, and the pork shreds into tender, flavorful bites. The chipotles and tomatoes have merged into a smoky, spicy, flavorful sauce that coats everything. Wrapped in a tortilla and topped with the cool guacamole and cheese, it’s an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
What’s even better, with a little prep before placing into the slow cooker, they take virtually no time to throw together once you get home from work. Great for a busy weeknight; even a night when the whole family can’t sit down together to eat due to soccer practices, band rehearsals, etc. The slow cooker can simply keep the taco filling warm for everyone to eat when they have time.
So stop considering swinging by the “Golden Arches” or that “Terrible-Excuse-for-Mexican” fast-food place (you know, the one with the bell) to feed the family, and throw together some homemade, delicious tinga tacos. You’ll be glad you did.
Chipotle Pork Tinga Tacos, adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
One 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
4 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded and chopped
1 T chipotle canning sauce (the sauce from the can of chipotle chiles in adobo)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t dried Mexican oregano
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 t salt
4 oz fresh Mexican chorizo sausage (bulk, or if in casings, casings removed)
Warmed corn tortillas
1 c crumbled Mexican queso fresco or feta
Spread the potatoes over the bottom of a slow cooker and top with the pork. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes with the chipotles, canning sauce, Worcestershire, oregano, garlic, and salt. Pour the mixture evenly over the meat and potatoes. Cover and turn the slow cooker on high for 6 hours (I turned it on low for about 11).
When you are ready to eat, fry the chorizo in a medium skillet until thoroughly done, about 4-5 minutes. Uncover the pork tinga and spoon off any fat that has accumulated on top. Sprinkle on the chorizo, and stir everything together, breaking the pork into smaller pieces. Taste and season with additional salt if it needs it. Serve with the tortillas, crumbled fresh cheese and guacamole. Serves 8.