Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet Barbacoa Pork

I've had my eye on this recipe from Gina's Blog for a while and as I laid on the couch recouping from the week and weekend of work on Sunday, I decided this would be a great addition to the menu lineup. Max Man and I both had a meeting on Monday evening so I thought this crock pot dish would be perfect - cook all day, we'd come home from our meeting and dinner would be there ready! Well, this was partially correct. I've decided that one of my foodie faults is that I don't always read through recipes on the front end, I tend to skim through just to see what I need to get from the store to make it, not always the steps/process or how long it takes. Um, oops.

If you've been with me a while, you may have picked up on this in some of my posts :-) So, this was one of those circumstances - I saw marinate, overnight, crock pot ... but didn't necessarily put it all together at time of recipe planning inception. Turns out the time in the crock pot is broken up, not all at once like say, a roast. Luckily, this worked out really well for my Monday schedule and I was able to get home for part dos but I would recommend that you make this if you have the freedom to come home at lunch or you are able to make this on a day off (Saturday or Sunday).

Gina took numerous Pork barbacoa recipes and created her own "skinny" version of it. Tonight I present a delicious change-up that has already been requested again by the man in my life, meaning 100% dude approved yet one you can be guilt free in consuming! So flavorful, so tender, so juicy, so deliciouso! Nutritional facts include 202.5 calories, 6.3g of fat, and 11.5g fat per serving.

Grocery List:
for pork and marinade
  • 1 1/2 lb. pork loin roast
  • Garlic powder
  • 6 oz. Coke Zero
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 1/4 cup water
to cook the pork
  • 8 oz. Coke Zero
  • 6 oz. can of diced green chilies 
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce (I also added about 4 spoonfuls of the adobo sauce to the mix)
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, not packed
This is the part you do overnight, create the marinade and let it sleep in the fridge while you sleep in your bed. To start, trim all the fat from the pork as you can, if not pre-trimmed by the butcher. Season the pork with meat tenderizer (if you have it, I decided to use it), then sprinkle each side with the garlic powder. Place the pork in the crock pot bowl (removable part), add 6 oz. of Coke Zero then the brown sugar. Cover with lid and set in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

We just so happened to have a huge storm that sounded as though Armageddon was reigning down on the roof and going to break my windows. Around 3 am, I woke up, looked out the window, decided I needed some water and flipped the chunk of pork in the crock pot while I was getting water from the fridge. You can skip this step. Or set an alarm. Your preference.

In the morning, add 1/4 cup water and set the dish in the crock pot fixture on high heat. Cover and let do it's thing for 4-5 hours. Luckily, as I said, I happened to have a schedule that allowed me to swing home in this time frame. On my way back to the office from an event, I was able to run by the apartment and complete the next part of this process...

Test the pork and make sure it is easily broken apart.

Remove the pork from the crock pot and pour out the liquids and fat. Using two forks, pull the pork apart to shred.

In the crock pot bowl, pour the rest of the Coke Zero, add the green chilies, tomato paste, chipotle chili in adobo with a few spoonfuls of the adobo sauce, the garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and the brown sugar. Mix it well and add the shredded pork back into the pot.

Let it cook for another 3-4 hours and you will be ready to serve! I made Gina's awesome Cuban black beans and served the barbacoa pork rolled up in a low fat, whole wheat tortilla with a dollop of sour cream and Monterrey jack/cheddar cheese blend shown above.

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