Slow cooked pulled pork tacos with red slaw
This week we are getting excited about slow-cooking. This succulent and tender pulled-pork taco recipe is an easy introduction to slow-cooked pork as you can't go wrong with it. Serve banquet style and let everyone build their own tacos layering with red slaw, pulled pork, sour cream/ yoghurt and coriander.
Wine recommendation: Mad Hatter Top Hat Pinot Gris
approx. 1.5kg/3 lbs free-range pork belly or shoulder, fat scored *If possible choose free-range meat – particularly when it comes to pork and chicken.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red cabbage (approx. 750g/1lb), finely shredded
generous pinch of sea salt
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 apple, grated
handful mint or coriander, chopped
juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
warmed soft corn or wheat tortillas
sour cream or coconut yoghurt
chopped fresh coriander
More substantial cuts of pork can be slow-cooked in this way, but increase the cooking time by 1 hour per 500g/1lb extra weight. Preheat a slow-cooker on LOW or oven to 120°C/250F. Use a sharp knife to score the skin of the pork belly or shoulder (the butcher may have already done this). Wash the pork and pat dry with paper towels.
If using cumin seeds, toast them in a dry frying pan then grind them in a mortar and pestle. Combine the cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and olive oil to make a paste. Rub this evenly over the pork and place into the slow cooker, or into a lidded oven dish and then into the oven. Cook for 6 hours until the flesh easily pulls away when pierced with a fork. Make the Red Slaw. Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl and add the salt. Rub and massage for a minute to soften the fibrous cabbage and make it easier to digest. Add the remaining ingredients, tossing to combine.
Remove the pork from the slow-cooker or oven and rest on a plate for 10 minutes. *At this stage, the pork skin can be grilled to make it crispy. Preheat the grill to 220°C/450F and place the pork, skin facing up, on the middle rack (not too close to the element or it will burn before becoming crispy) and grill for 8-10 minutes until the skin is golden and crackly – be careful opening the oven door as the skin can crackle and pop under the high heat.
Pour the cooking juices from the cooker/dish into a jug to cool. The fat will solidify on the surface once cold; scoop it off for using in cooking like ghee, or discard it. Use two forks to 'pull' the succulent pork apart. Serve banquet style so each guest can build their own tacos layering with Red Slaw, pulled pork, sour cream/ yoghurt and coriander. Serve lime wedges for squeezing.
*Recipe extract from Homegrown Kitchen – Everyday Recipes for Eating Well by Nicola Galloway. Available in bookstores around New Zealand. Find out more www.homegrown-kitchen.co.nz