Rick Bayless is one of my favorite chefs. I've been fortunate enough to eat at his Frontera Grill in Chicago -- twice! The food there is so fantastic that you happily deal with the 2-hour wait for a table. I have several of his cookbooks in my collection, and his recipes always come out great. This pork tinga is no exception. It's made with pork shoulder, potatoes, and chipotle chile. For less than $20 worth of ingredients, you get enough food to feed a crowd, and it's amazingly delicious!! I've been eyeing this recipe for a few weeks and made it this weekend while we had family in town visiting. I tweaked it a bit for our tastes, and we all thought it was really tasty.
Spicy Pork Tinga Tacos
adapted from Rick Bayless Everyday Mexican
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Cut 2 lbs. pork shoulder into 1-inch cubes. Place in the bottom of a Dutch oven.
Step 2: Peel and dice 1 lb. red or Yukon Gold potatoes. I used red potatoes, and they worked really well. Layer on top of the pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add two bay leaves on top. Dice a medium white onion and layer on top of the potatoes.
Step 3: In a large bowl combine the following ingredients: 28-ounces of fire-roasted tomatoes (drained), 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. Mexican oregano, 1 seeded and diced canned chipotle chile, 1 tbs. of the chipotle sauce in the can, and 3-4 finely minced or grated garlic cloves. Stir to combine and pour on top of the onions. DON'T STIR! Cover and bake for 2.5 hours.
Step 4: Remove the pork tinga from the oven, remove the lid, and top with 4 ounces of browned and crumbled chorizo sausage. The chorizo is optional, but it really gives a nice depth of flavor to the finished product! Stir to combine, being careful not to break up the potatoes. The tinga had quite a bit of liquid left after baking, so I reduced it on med-high heat until most of the excess liquid was reduced and the tinga was thickened.
Step 5: To serve, spoon some of the tinga onto a double layer of white corn tortillas. Per Rick Bayless, the traditional way they're served in Puebla is with diced avocado and queso fresco. A good substitute is dry, not-too-salty feta or crumbled goat cheese. I used feta this time since I couldn't get my hands on any queso fresco.
Man, is this pork tinga delish! The pork, tomatoes, chipotle, and potatoes were a perfect combination of flavors. We thought that one chipotle, the canning sauce, and the spicy chorizo gave it just the right amount of kick, but you can use up to four chipotles in adobo if you like your food REALLY spicy!
To make the tinga in a crockpot, simply layer the ingredients in the following order: potatoes, onion, pork, and the tomato mixture. Do not stir. Cover and cook on HIGH for six hours. The tinga can wait using the crockpot's "keep warm" function for up to four hours. Start this dish before you leave for work Thursday, and you'll come home to a wonderful smell in your kitchen...and a Cinco de Mayo feast ready to eat! Which leaves you time to whip up some sangria or a margarita to go with these yummy pork tinga tacos!!