Really the title should read “Citrusy Smoky Crockpot Pork Tacos” but I thought that was just too much. I have this thing about more than two adjectives before the name of a dish. It seems…I dunno…pretentious to me!
Anyhoo…this is an August kinda dish. As I write this, it is August. It’s muggy. It’s hot. And I pity the fool who asks me to turn on my oven! I’m not doing it. Nope. Nuh-uh!
(Side note: The weather in August also makes me wonder why folks want to drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes during this time? Like…really? I get that you wanna channel fall but…I don’t get it…anyway, I digress…)
Let’s get back tot he tacos. They are perfect for these last, dog-days of summer when you would rather get a root canal than cook. They are stupid easy to prep, cook in a crockpot, and the accompanying things are all cold and take all of about 10 minutes to finisht he dish off. So we ready to delve into it? Lovely. Let’s go!
So…have you ever tinkered around with a recipe and it came out a little bit better than you expected? That was the deal with these. I had this idea in my head for a citrusy, smoky flavored pork taco. My original plan was to make another jicama taco since I loved my jicama fish tacos so much. But here’s what had happened.
Yeah. That. Ow. This is what I get for having a cheap mandolin! I had to shove the jicama through so hard that I shoved my thumb right along with it! (Loving advice: Get a quality mandolin, Foodies!) Not fun. So I abandoned that. But for those of you who live in mystical, magical places where jicama is already sold as tacos? Go for it. Me? I carried my wounded self to the grocery store and picked up some curly leaf lettuce. Curly leaf lettuce does not have the desire to kill me. And for that reason, curly leaf lettuce and I will always be friends!
The first time I tested this recipe I used center-cut pork chops and used my fool-proof meat marinating technique. And it worked pretty well but the pork wasn’t quite as tender as I like. So I decided to try country ribs. Now when I was telling a friend of mine about this recipe she didn’t know what country ribs are. I didn’t get a pic of my country ribs, but thanks to Google, you can click this link right here to see what they look like. That was the ticket! The meat came out wonderfully tender.
I knew I wanted citrus in this recipe, but I also know a lot of you don’t do too well with citrus fruit straight-up. So I made some adjustments there, but if you prefer, you can just juice some oranges and keep on steppin’. (That’s what I did on my first test of this recipe…both tasted awesome.) The final result is a fresh but smoky flavor that would go well not only in a (curly leaf lettuce) taco but also on top of a salad or even in a traditional tortilla for the fam!
Now about that green sauce. Have you all ever been to a Peruvian chicken place? Ohhhhhh myyyyyy goshhhhhh. If you haven’t, you must. Just Google “Peruvian chicken near me” and see if you have a place. It is SO good. Granted, what they give you is about 17 meals for the average post-op, but that’s why we all have dogs, right?
Anyway, one of my favorite things about getting Peruvian chicken is the spicy green sauce they give you to dip your chicken in. I am a lover of all things spicy. In fact, I always ask for an extra container of sauce so I can take it home and dip deli turkey slices in the stuff. That is…until I researched what’s in it. Yikes. There’s a LOT of mayo in that stuff! So yeah…I couldn’t in good faith propose that to you guys. Instead, I went for a healthier fat and some super-fresh tasting ingredients and MAN is that sauce good! But warning: my recipe makes a lot of the stuff. So halve it if you don’t want that much. Or if you like spicy sauces, consider freezing some of it. (I’d recommend in an ice cube tray that you never, ever intend to use again!)
But bottom line: the sauce has a better source of fat without sacrificing the taste. Warning though. It is SPICY! If you want to turn the heat down a few notches, leave the seeds out of the jalapeno the recipe calls for or just use a less spicy pepper like a small poblano.
At any rate, this recipe went over really well with the fam. I ate mine in my lettuce. My younger daughter at hers in a whole wheat tortilla. My boyfriend had his as a burrito bowl (with the addition of shredded lettuce, black beans, diced tomatoes and salsa).
But the real question is…what will you do with it? I can’t wait to see!
|6-8 servings||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|6 hours||6 hours|
Try these citrusy crockpot pork tacos at the end of summer when you wouldn't touch your oven OR stove with a 100-foot pole!
- 1 lb. pork country ribs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle pepper (optional)
- 2 c. Tropicana 50 no-sugar added orange juice
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 bunch fresh cilantrol
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 jalapeno pepper stems removed, and seeds removed if you don't want it to be spicy
- juice of one lime
- 2-3 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c. unflavored Greek yogurt
- 1 head curly leaf lettuce
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
- 1 orange bell pepper sliced into strips
- Place ribs, salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and chipotle pepper (if using) into a crockpot. Cover with orange juice, orange zest and water and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred meat with forks and allow it to continue warming.
- To make sauce: combine cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice olive oil and Greek yogurt in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Sauce should be able to be drizzled. If it is too thick, add water and mix again.
- To make taco shells: break leaves off the bunch of curly leaf lettuce and use a large knife to break the steam. Fill each taco with about 1-2 ounces of pork, peppers, 1 tbsp. of yogurt and 1 tsp. of the green sauce.
This recipe looks fantastic! I cannot wait to try it. I love all the stats too. This will be an awesome pairing! Thanks for taking the hard work out of what looks like a terrific meal.
Dude! You’re a genius. This was so good and had my house smelling AMAZING all day! This will definitely be going in my regular rotation.