This post is brought to you in partnership with Philips.
Remember taco night? The one night of the week when cutlery was optional? The night when everyone seemed to be in a good mood? The night that seemed totally exotic and fun then, and now it seems not exotic at all, but still like a damn good time? I’m bringing it back! And you know why? Because I realised something. There was a reason Mums everywhere were in a good mood on taco night, and it’s because those ‘taco kits’ – you know, the box with the sauce and the powder and the shells – are super easy to put together. An easy dinner that everyone loves? No brainer.
Now, let me be clear, I’m not above a little Old El Paso, but I do think that there are other ways to get my crunchy taco fix that are still super simple, but take it a level up in terms of culinary achievement. Enter the slow cooker and/or pressure cooker. For those days when you want that luxurious, melt-in-your mouth, perfectly braised effect, but you don’t have time to watch a pot for 6 hours, there is literally no better solution. And just like my mum, I’m more than happy to take the easy option. Anything to get a little more time chatting with friends, or hanging with my boyfriend on a Friday night is more than fine by me.
For this recipe, I’m using the Phillips All-in-one Cooker. It’s both a slow cooker and a pressure cooker. I like that it has both functions, because it caters to my generally scatter brained nature. If it’s a blue moon, and I’ve actually got it together in the morning to use the slow cooker, then I get to come home to some beautifully slow-braised meat. And if not, and it’s any of the other 364 days of the year then I can switch to the pressure cooker, thereby having my pork and eating it too. Either way, once it goes into the pot, I’m off the kitchen-clock.
The pork itself for these tacos is slow-braised shoulder, simmered in beer and chipotle and a little brown sugar and onion. It’s spicy, it’s lush, and it’s got beer already in it, matching perfectly with the beer I will be having alongside. On top, I’m making a bright, light, tangy pineapple salsa, crunchy with onions, and full of herbs. And then the piece de resistance, the real clincher for me here, is that old school, totally-not-Mexican-at-all, crunchy taco shell.
I’m all about the crunchy taco shell! It’s what makes these a nostalgic, taco night classic for me. Of course you could serve these on fresh corn tortillas, or even on a bed of rice, or however you want, but I gotta have that salty, impractical corn-chip-like shell, which totally shatters as soon as you bite into it – unless you’ve got the touch. I will be spending the rest of my weekend working on the touch. Hope you try these lovelies! And tell me, which do you think you would use more, a slow cooker or a pressure cooker?
This post was coordinated by The Remarkables Group.
- Philips All In One Cooker
- Cutting board
- 1 x 500g (1 pound) piece of pork shoulder
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp chopped chipotles in adobo (these come canned)
- ¼ cup (55g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (250ml) Mexican-style beer, such as Corona
- 1 cup (250ml) water
- ½ cup finely diced pineapple
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped coriander (aka cilantro)
- juice of half a lime
- Sliced red cabbage
- Crumbled feta or queso
- Sliced cherry tomatoes
- Hard taco shells (8-10)
- Season the pork with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Turn the Philips All In One Cooker to 'saute/sear' and set for 5 minutes. Add the oil to the Cooker, along with the spices, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the time is up. Add the pork to the pan, along with the chipotles, brown sugar, beer and water. Add the lid to the cooker, and twist to close. Set the valve to 'seal' then select the meat/poultry setting under 'Pressure Cook' and set the timer for 60 minutes.
- Leave the pork to cook for 60 minutes. When the time is up, release the valve, carefully, and let all the steam out, and then remove the lid, and shred the pork. Place it in a serving dish and add as much of the liquid left in the All In One Cooker as you like.
- To make the salsa, simply stir all the ingredients together.
- Serve the pork inside a taco shell, topped with sliced red cabbage, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta and pineapple salsa. Great with a cold beer!