I was strolling through Sobeys the other day with my mom when she called me over to tell me about how good of a price the pork shoulders were. She was right, and the butcher assisted us with picking one out for me, which cost a whopping seven dollars. It was supposed to be super hot the next few days so I knew I needed to figure out some way to cook it in the slow cooker that was still fun but didn’t require an oven for side dishes (because I loooove oldschool hashbrown casserole!).
So, I took inspiration from the awesome roasted meat dishes in Pati Jinich’s Mexican Today cookbook (you guys should check it out!) and decided that this pork shoulder should be slow cooked with a chipotle adobo sauce.
This was 100% an experiment. It could have been a 10$ total fail. But, I lucked out and it was delicious and I have a bunch of meat hanging out in my freezer for later! I am going to try to make a “Burrito Bowl” with the leftovers and I will update you if it works out well.
This isn’t one of my “ultra cheap” meals but you could definitely pare back areas to make it more affordable! You could marinate/slow cook just in the chipotle, and skip the pico to save about $2.75 total (bringing your per serving down to $3.41). But for me, this is an awesome “fun” meal and totally something I’d make for a celebratory taco night because it’s enough to feed a crowd and keep the food budget around $25. Life is short, eat the tacos… and if you can’t afford the tacos right now, try one of these ultra affordable recipes I’ve shared.
Pork “Carnitas” Tacos
$ 3.87 per serving (2 tacos) or $23.22 for 12 servings
Cost of Meat: $7.24 ($0.66 per taco)
1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo- $2.48
1 yellow onion- $0.35
2 jalapenos- $1.20
Taco Fixings (per serving= $1.88):
1 Radish per 2 tacos- $0.14 (0.84 for 12)
Guacamole (I used store bought, just a small smear to cut the heat and hold your fixings in)- ~$0.83 (~$5 for 12)
Pico De Gallo (check out how I make mine here)- ~$0.20 (~$1.20 for 12)
Tortillas- $0.52 ($3.09 for 12)
Optional: Torn parsley or cilantro and lime wedges
Your first step is to cut the fat cap off of your pork shoulder and put it in the bottom of your marinating bag. Our butcher at Sobeys shared with us that it’s actually easier to pull the pork apart if you do this step, but so long as you lay it across the top of the shoulder while cooking, it will still keep the meat nice and juicy! Next, in a blender throw in your jalapenos (I did mine with seeds, just removed the stem) and onion as well as your can of chipotle chiles in adobo. I use the adobo can to add 2 can-fuls of water to the blender as well and blend until smooth. I added the pork shoulder to a zipper bag, poured the sauce over and marinated it overnight. You could totally just pour this into the slow cooker at this point, though.
The next morning I put my pork shoulder in the slow cooker for 6 hours on high by accident. I meant to put it on for 8 hours on low but I failed. Even though I obviously overcooked my meat, it was so delicious and juicy (not at all dry, seriously) and easy to pull apart. I put the meat in a lasagna pan and pulled it all apart, pulling out the hock and excess fat as I went, and then let it cool for about 40 minutes before I put it in the fridge to fully cool. You could serve it once it’s pulled though! I just timed my day poorly and needed to put it in the fridge until dinner.
To make your tacos, I smeared guacamole on my tortilla, then laid down the meat, pico de gallo, and radish slices. I topped mine with parsley for the pictures but totally not necessary. A squeeze of fresh lemon was nice, though!
For a listing of what you would want or need to make this delicious meal happen:
IMUSA Salsa Bowls – 2 piece • Imusa •
Scalloped Porcelain White Serving Bowl • Pier 1 Imports •
Avocado Bowl •
Marble Dip Bowl • Pier 1 Imports •
Cuisinart Velocity Ultra Trio 1-HP Blender/Food Processor with Travel Cups • Cuisinart •
Cuisinart Velocity Ultra 1-HP Blender • Cuisinart •
Oster Versa Blender • Oster •
Taco Rack • Crate & Barrel •
Charcoal Companion Sur La Table Taco Rack • Charcoal Companion •
Mexicali Taco Rack • Pier 1 Imports •
Hamilton Beach 6-qt. Programmable Stovetop Slow Cooker • Hamilton Beach •
Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-qt. Programmable Slow Cooker • Hamilton Beach •
For my own tacoloving self, here are some funny taco themed t-shirts etc…
Express Ann Page Drink And Eat Tacos Can Cover • Express •
Express Ann Page Drink And Eat Tacos Napkins • Express •
You Better Have Tacos Doormat • Lulu & Georgia •
Fashion Pickle Taco Tequila Tank •
Tailgate Women’s Taco ‘Bout T-Shirt • Tailgate •
Buffalo David Bitton Lets Taco Bout It Tee • Buffalo David Bitton •
Chaser Tequila Tacos and Naps Graphic Tee, White • Chaser •
Chaser Tacos Y Cerveza Tee, White • Chaser •
Chaser Tacos Y Tequila Knit Top, Avalon • Chaser •
Do you have a favorite taco recipe, or maybe a favorite slow cooker one? I’d love to hear about it. I’ve been loving anything that is easily cooked and/or does not require cutting to eat since hurting my hand so I would love to hear from you!