Whenever I make a recipe I always have leftovers, so I’m constantly trying to figure out creative ways to use them so I don’t have to make the same dish again. And who are we kidding, who honestly likes next-day, microwave-heated leftovers?
So, we roasted a pork shoulder last week, which is one of my favorite cuts of meat – especially when cooked the right (read: juicy) way. Typically, my impatience can be shelved for a whole eight hours, if necessary, while my husband slow-smokes a shoulder. So worth the wait! You cut into the meat, juices oozing out, the flesh just breaking away from the bone effortlessly. The taste – you don’t have to add anything to it. It’s good all by itself.
Lawd, it’s making my mouth water right now.
But we didn’t have eight hours, so I roasted it instead. Still good, but not smoked. **Disclaimer: if you have a chance to smoke the shoulder, don’t give the oven a second thought.**
But before we cooked up this bad boy, (and the story behind the source of my inspiration) my hubby and I went to a conference where they had food trucks brought in for lunch. We both tried an Argentinian sandwich – pulled pork with chimichurri sauce and pepper-jack cheese. It. Was. Awesome.
And being the foodies we are, we vowed right there to go home and try it ourselves.
The sandwich itself was delicious, but then, having even more leftovers to contend with, I got creative and decided to try it as a taco, which, in my humble opinion, was even better than the sandwich.
Pulled Pork Tacos with Chimchurri Sauce and Goat Cheese
For the pork:
(adapted from The Lady and Son’s Smoked Boston Butt Roast)
1 (3-5 pound) pork butt/shoulder roast
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously cover each side of the roast with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover each side of the roast with cinnamon, sparingly. Don’t overdo the cinnamon. Remember the idiots who dared to take on the Cinnamon Challenge on YouTube? Here’s a reminder. Repeat the process with the liquid smoke. Place the roast in a large roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom and 4 bay leaves. Place in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until thermometer reads 170 degrees. Let meat cool for a few minutes and then shred.
For the sauce:
(adapted from Food.com)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
8 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs diced red onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Don’t even bother chopping everything up if you have a small food processor. Just throw them all in and process away until everything is combined.
It makes a lot but you’re gonna want a lot. It’s that good.
To make the corn tortillas all authentic looking and to keep them from falling apart:
(This only works with a gas stove) Place the tortilla on top of the grate over the gas flame for 20-30 seconds, using tongs, flip it over to the side for an additional few seconds. When sufficiently browned along the edges, place in a towel and wrap tortilla around a rolling pin until cooled. This makes a nice shape to the tortillas and keeps it from breaking open, losing all of your precious fillings at the hint of a breeze.
(If you don’t have a gas stove) You can soften your corn tortillas by placing damp paper towels in between each one and putting them in the microwave for up to 30 seconds.
For the cheese:
Okay, I know not everyone is a fan of goat cheese (my hubby, for one) but I love it. The stronger the flavor, the better! But, if the thought of goat cheese makes your stomach churn, try instead some shredded/crumbled pepper jack, cojita or queso on top.
**Also, my hubby added a little barbecue sauce on his meat and said it was excellent!