Game Day Taco Bar
The big game is coming up soon, so I thought to myself, “What dish screams Super Bowl?” It would have to be easy, yet packed with flavor, it would need to be semi-portable, and it would have to be hearty and filling (something men will eat). After thinking about it, I came up with pork tacos with an array of toppings. Honestly, who doesn’t love a tender pork taco stuffed inside a fresh flour tortilla, topped with homemade guacamole, salsa rojo, and salsa verde? I’ve never known anyone to turn down a taco. Have you?
This recipe is extremely easy to make. And, I have to admit, it’s what attracted me to this dish, along with it’s bold flavors, of course. The pork is cooked in a slow-cooker. I believe the slow-cooker is God’s gift to the busy home cook; it allows you to forget about the food and accomplish other tasks while your food cooks. While my pork is cooking, I can get a head start on straightening up the house before guests arrive and prepare the toppings for the taco.
Guacamole, salsa rojo, and salsa verde give these tacos a major flavor boost.
The pork then gets topped with a spicy chipotle sauce that gives the pork a lovely smokey flavor.
After cooking the pork for 8 hours, take it out of the slow-cooker and let it rest for about an hour. When the pork is done resting, use a fork to shred the pork. The pork is so tender that it will take very little effort to shred.
While your pork is cooking, start putting together your taco toppings. I started with the salsa verde, since it needs to cool slightly before blending in the food processor. Salsa verde is a green salsa made with tomatillos, garlic, red onion, and jalapeño that is cooked before blending with cilantro, lime juice, and honey.
Next up is the salsa rojo, which is just a tomato based salsa. It’s nice and spicy, as opposed to the salsa verde, which has underlying sweet notes.
Let’s not forget about the guacamole, which happens to be my favorite taco topping and dip. It’s creamy, slightly spicy, and the lemon adds a real crisp, fresh flavor.
Love and sweet treats,
The Messy Baker
1 boston butt pork roast, about 3-4 pounds
1 onion, chopped and placed in the bottom of the slow-cooker
1 cup water or chicken stock
4 garlic cloves
3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs honey
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Chop an onion and add it to the bottom of your slow-cooker, then add either the water or the stock, which ever you choose to use is fine. Place the pork roast on top of the onions. Salt and pepper your roast. To make the chipotle sauce, add the garlic, 1/2 of a medium onion, chipotles and 2 tbs. of the adobo sauce to a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. Add the honey, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil and pulse until combined. Pour the sauce over the pork roast. Turn the slow-cooker on low and cook for 8 hours. When the pork is done, remove it from the slow-cooker and let rest for about an hour. Discard of the onions at the bottom of the slow-cooker; they’re there solely to provide flavor. When the pork is finished resting, shred. I used two forks to do this. The pork is so tender that it basically falls apart on its own. While the pork is cooking, take that time to start making the taco toppings.
adapted from Bobby Flay
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, coarsely diced
8 tomatillos, husked and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeño, and tomatillos and cook until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender, add the lime juice, honey, and cilantro, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
2 cans of diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
1/2 medium onion, chopped (red or white will work)
1 jalapeño, chopped (two if you like it really hot)
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 lemon, juiced
Few dashes of tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Drain two cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles. Make sure you get a majority of the juice out of the cans so you don’t end up with a soupy salsa. Roughly chop 1/2 an onion, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro. Add them to a food processor and pulse until medium fine in texture. Add the drained tomatoes, juiced lemon, tabasco, sugar, salt and pepper and pulse until desired chunkiness. Taste. Depending on how spicy you like your salsa, add more tabasco. Refrigerate.
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 red onion, minced
1-2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (depending on how hot you want your guacamole)
1 lemon, juiced
Few dashes of tabasco sauce
1 tomato, seeded and diced
Use a knife to cut around the seed of your avocados and pull the halves apart. Take a spoon and scoop out the inside of the avocados and place them in a large bowl. Start with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper and add it to your avocados. You may need more salt, but make sure you taste it first before adding more and over salting the dish. Avocados tend to need a healthy helping of salt. Add the lemon juice and tabasco. Smash the avocado mixture until it becomes creamy but still remains slightly chunky. I use a pastry cutter, but a fork will work just fine. Add the minced garlic, onion, and jalapeño to the avocado mixture and stir. Make sure you taste the mixture to see if it needs more salt, pepper or tabasco. Top with diced tomatoes. Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat it.
For the tacos:
flour tortillas, plenty of them
shredded cheddar cheese
To assemble, add as much shredded pork as you like to your flour tortilla and top with what ever you like. That’s the great thing about a taco bar, you can go down the line and add what ever toppings you like to your tacos. Enjoy!