Pork Tinga Tacos

I’m on a Mexican kick… you know, just FYI… in case you haven’t seen my blog lately, and the sudden influx of Mexican recipes.

Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipeActually, I’m kinda always on a Mexican kick. If I had to choose, it would be my favorite type of food, Mikey’s too—we eat it at least twice per week because we just can’t get enough. Plus, I know I’ve shared before that my ultimate favorite food (tied with pizza, because, well… pizza) is chips and salsa. So random, but so perfect.

So, now that I’ve proved to you how much I love Mexican food, I need to tell you that these tacos are some of the very best I have ever eaten. They are hearty and comforting with just a bit of heat, and best of all, you can make them in your slow-cooker!

(Cheese is the new confetti, didn’t you know?)

Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipe Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipe Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipeThe recipe comes from one of my most favorite chefs, Chef Rick Bayless. (The cajeta recipe on my blog is also his!) He specializes in Mexican cuisine, and lived in Mexico for a period of time to learn how to make authentic dishes. This one is so simple because after browning the meat, you just pile everything in a slow-cooker and let it cook away for the day.

The pork tinga is delicious as tacos, but I also just sat over the bowl and ate the filling with a fork. I really couldn’t help myself. It turned out more delicious than I ever could have imagined. Plus, the queso fresco and the avocado totally make the dish. It adds a bit of freshness to the hearty pork and potato filling. Also, oh my gosh, potatoes are so good in tacos!

And, just FYI, these are AWESOME with a Mezcalita de Piña ;)

Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipe Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipe

Pork Tinga Tacos

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 and 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces chorizo (removed from casing)
  • 3/4 lb (about 4) red potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 1 large white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 28 ounce (or two 14 ounce) cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, in juice
  • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce from can, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp adobo sauce from can
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt
  • queso fresco
  • avocado, sliced
  • corn tortillas


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the pork shoulder and chorizo, along with a pinch of salt, and cook until browned (about 6 to 8 minutes).
  2. Transfer the meat and any juices to the slow-cooker, and add in the potatoes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, garlic, tomatoes, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, Worcestershire, oregano, and a sprinkling of salt. Add the mixture into the slow-cooker.
  4. Cook on high for 3 hours with the lid on, then remove the lid and continue to cook for 3 more hours, stirring occasionally. If the sauce seems too thick, feel free to add in a bit of water.
  5. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap stacks of 5 corn tortillas in aluminum foil and bake for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
  6. Serve pork tinga with warmed tortillas, crumbled queso fresco, and sliced avocado.


recipe slightly adapted from here


Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipe Pork Tinga Tacos | spachethespatula.com #recipe

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

I’m kind of obsessed with teriyaki…teriyaki chicken…teriyaki salmon…teriyaki tofu…I love it all.

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken | spachethespatula.com #recipeI make it with some frequency so it’s a bit shocking that it hasn’t turned up on the blog, yet. But, it wasn’t until this week that I thought to try cooking it in my slow-cooker! You see, I’m very picky about slow-cooker recipes. I’ve tried dozens, but I find that 90% turn out boring and bland. The flavors get muddled after cooking for so long, or something. This recipe, however, is neither boring, nor bland!

Shockingly, it totally worked in the slow-cooker! It’s tangy and sweet, and really freakin’ tasty over some short grain rice seasoned with a little rice vinegar.

The trouble with slow-cooker food is that it all turns kinda brown and boring looking, but I assure you that there is nothing boring about this chicken :)

Oh! Also, this recipe takes a much shorter amount of time than most slow-cooker recipes (only about 2-3 hours on low), so keep that in mind; don’t start it in the morning and think you can leave it all day. You’ll be left with overcooked chicken!

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken | spachethespatula.com #recipe Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken | spachethespatula.com #recipe

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken


  • 5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp dry sherry (or sake)
  • 2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice cooking wine)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp gochujang (or any chili paste you have, sriracha would be great)
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 tbsp chopped chives


  1. Add all of the ingredients, through the red onion, to the slow-cooker and whisk to combine.
  2. Add in the chicken chunks and stir to coat.
  3. Set the slow-cooker to low and cook for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place in a bowl. Cover with tin foil.
  5. Turn the slow-cooker to high and whisk in the cornstarch. Cook, stirring for about 10-15 minutes. Add the chicken back in and stir to coat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
  6. Serve over rice, sprinkled with chives.

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken | spachethespatula.com #recipeDo you have a favorite slow-cooker recipe? Please share it with me in the comments below!

Braised Short Ribs over Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta


This is the last of the recipes that I have to share with you from my time spent with my family in Florida, and though the pictures are the worst, I think it may just be the tastiest. It’s a super comforting dish that really just sticks to your bones.

Though the recipe itself is fairly straightforward and easy, finding the short ribs was an absolute nightmare. Apparently no one in Sarasota, Florida eats short ribs or something… it was extremely bizarre. I had to go to 3 different grocery stores and a butcher’s shop to find them! I was flabbergasted when my family’s tried and true neighborhood butcher responded to my bone-in short rib request with “Aren’t those kind of rare?” WHAT? Are you, the extremely qualified butcher, asking me if this cut of meat is sparse in the meat-world??? Well, I certainly didn’t think so considering they seem to be a staple on every restaurant’s menu, but clearly I was sorely mistaken. I was told by the butcher in the next store that “All the snow birds went home so we don’t really have them anymore.” Excuse me? Do only northerners consume short ribs? All in all, I found the experience both frustrating and peculiar. I finally ended up locating some short ribs with the help of a phone call from one butcher to another, and I ended up buying out their entire stock (which was not very much… like 16 short ribs).

Anyways, despite the issues finding the main ingredient, this recipe was fantastic and completely worth all of the effort. The meat literally falls off of the bone and there is no need for a knife. The polenta is so good (and easy!) that I will be making it time and time again. I loved the slight tang that the goat cheese imparts. The best thing ever though is the fact that the creamy polenta soaks up all of the juicy cooking sauce from the meat- major yum!

Just wanted to add that I have since made this in my slow cooker and it turned out beautifully. Just follow through step 5, and then add everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 2-5.



Braised Short Ribs over Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta
recipe from here
serves 4


short ribs:
  • 8 bone-in beef short ribs
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 slices pancetta, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 cups dry red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal (I used Bob’s Redmill)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (not the crumbled kind!)
for the short ribs:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Salt and pepper the ribs, and then dredge them in flour, shaking off any excess. Set aside.
  3. In a large dutch oven, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until all fat is rendered and the pancetta is really crisp. Remove the pancetta pieces from the pot and set aside (don’t discard!), leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
  4. Raise the heat to high and add the olive oil to the pot with the pancetta grease. Brown the ribs on all sides (you’l know they are browned when they are easily able to be lifted from the bottom of the pot). Set ribs aside.
  5. Lower the heat to medium and add in the onions, shallots, and carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then pour in the wine, being sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the beef stock, a pinch of freshly ground pepper , and the stock to the pot. Add in the ribs (they should be mostly submerged), and the sprigs of thyme and rosemary (yes, leave them whole). Put on the lid.
  7. Cook in the oven for 2 hours, then reduce the temperature to 325 and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes. Remove pot from the oven and allow to sit for about 20 minutes with the lis still on before serving. Right before you serve, skim the fat off of the top of the liquid. Serve over Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta (recipe below) with cooking juices spooned over top.
for the polenta:
  1. Bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add in the cornmeal in a thin stream, whisking constantly to avoid any clumps.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, adding salt and tablespoons of water as necessary.
  4. When the polenta is done, stir in the butter and goat cheese. Serve with Braised Short Ribs (or anything else because it’s so darn good!).

Slow-Cooker BBQ Beef with Sweet Cole Slaw


Mikey and I have owned a slow-cooker for quite some time now but have actually never used it (shame on us!). It’s not that I never wanted to, it’s just that I’m so used to preparing such labor-intensive meals when I do cook, that the prospect of throwing something in the pot and then turning it on only to touch it again hours later was completely foreign to me. How terrible is it that I’m intimidated by something being too easy to cook?

Anyways, we both had been craving BBQ lately and I have always wanted to make some myself, so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to try out the slow-cooker.

I found this great recipe for BBQ beef and it could not have been easier. Seriously, what was I thinking waiting this long to toss something in the crock pot?! I literally put it in in the morning, added the sauce when I got back from class, whipped up the coleslaw a couple hours later, and then viola! Dinner in a flash (well it technically took like 10 hours… but my personal input was minimal)!

This BBQ beef is absolutely sublime, you guys! It’s sweet, tangy, and oh-so-comforting. And, paired with the cool slaw it is the perfect entree for a dinner outside on a summer evening. I served mine up on cute little Brioche buns, but they would also be great on Hawaiian rolls (any slightly sweet roll really).

Oh, and just so you know, this makes AWESOME leftovers :).


Slow-Cooker BBQ Beef
recipe adapted from here

  • 3 1/2 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Place the roast in the slow-cooker along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Remove 1/2 cup of the broth from the slow-cooker and discard.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients. Pour over the meat; cover and continue to cook for 3 more hours on low.
  4. Remove the meat from the slow cooker (try to shake off the excess juices/sauce) and shred on a cutting board using 2 forks. Try to remove the fat from the meat now as well. Place back in the slow-cooker, mix around with t he sauce/juices, and cook for 3 more hours on low.
  5. Serve on buns topped with Sweet Cole Slaw (recipe below).
Sweet Cole Slaw
recipe adapted from here

  • 1 10-ounce bag of shredded cabbage for cole slaw
  • 6 ounces broccoli slaw mix
  • 1 shallot bulb, diced (2-3 tbsp)
  • 2/3 cup Miracle Whip (it’s sweeter than mayo)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  1. Combine the slaw mixes and shallot in a large bowl.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over slaw and toss to coat.
  3. Chill at least 2 hours prior to serving