This last weekend I went to an herbalism conference and had the honor of listening to the author of this book speak in front of more than three hundred people. My girlfriend and I were sipping one some herbal tea when we got a whiff of something delicious from a cart called Gastronomad next door. During the break, we ran outside to try what ended up being some out-of-this-world tacos, made with fresh local meat and produce from inside a little van.
When I got home I described them to my husband; then I mentioned them before we went to bed; and then I described them again to him when we woke up; and then later while we were eating breakfast. Clayton, being the good man that he is, drove to the butcher shop, and came back with a pork shoulder. When he saw my confused face he said “We are making those tacos today” and got to work.
The unique flare of these tacos is the toppings: apple slices and blueberries. The fruit gives them a wonderful sweetness to balance out the spicy pork, as well as a little crunch. This isn’t quite the same recipe I had eaten earlier, but all credit for inspiration is due the Gastronomad.
This recipe is gluten free and dairy free. It’s also a really inexpensive meal – we bought the pork shoulder for only ten bucks, and there were leftovers for lunch the next day.
- 2 1/2 lb pork shoulder (butt)
- 1 onion
- 1 head of garlic
- 4 limes
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 apple
- Tortillas, here is a recipe on how to make your own
- Chili Powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
Here is your pork shoulder.
Here is your pot.
1. Prepare your spices. You will need cumin, chili powder, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Cumin is the real star of this show. I would say use: 4 parts cumin; 2 parts chili powder; 1 parts black pepper and salt; and cayenne to taste.
2. Coarsely chop one peeled onion.
3. Coarsely chop one large head of garlic.
4. Cut off a big ‘ol pad a butter. You’ll be using this to brown the pork and sweat some onions, so don’t be skimpy. This will all end up in your taco sauce later anyways.
5. Put your pan over medium-high heat, and get it real hot. Then, throw the butter in and let it coat the bottom of the pot. Make sure you get the meat in there quickly afterwards, because the butter will burn fast at this temperature.
6. Place the meat in the pot and brown on all (six-ish) sides, by leaving in place for about a minute.
7. After you’ve flipped in once, toss in the onions and garlic.
8. Next, squeeze the juice of about 4 limes into the pot. Don’t skimp on this, either.
9. Pour in the spice mixture you have set aside. By this time your entire kitchen is going to smell heavenly.
10. Fill the pot with water until the meat is just covered. Let simmer on low heat for 4-5 hours; about 2 hours with the lid on and 2 with the lid off, to evaporate the moisture and create an awesome sauce.
11. If you did it right, the water will have magically turned into a thick, spicy red sauce, and the meat will already be shredded by the time you can haul it out of the pot.
12. Now on to the tacos proper. First, julienne the green apple.
13. Get your toppings ready for action.
14. Fry up some tortillas. Want to know how to make these? Here is a simple recipe.
15. The fun part. Assemble your tacos. Follow your heart for proportions.
16. Make sure you don’t over-fill them!
17. Enjoy – and remember chew your food well! My husband bit his cheek and realized it had taken him as long to swallow that one bite as it had taken him to eat his whole first taco!