The Chef and the Slow Cooker

Chef Hugh Acheson has embarked on a 25-city Airstream Book Tour across the country in conjunction with his latest cookbook, The Chef and the Slow Cooker. Hugh is a James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and author, judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, and owner of several critically acclaimed restaurants in Georgia.  Hugh will be a t Punch Bowl Social today at 65 Broadway from 12pm - 2pm today.

With his latest book, The Chef and the Slow Cooker, Hugh hopes to inspire home cooks to dig out their slow cookers and start cooking from scratch again with innovative recipes that span from reimagined classics to elegant soon-to-be favorites.

 

Beer-Braised Pork Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

Slow Cooker Size: 7+ quarts

Serves 10 to 12

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 12 hours

 

8 pounds bone-in pork shoulder

Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup lard

3 small onions: 1 large diced, 2 minced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 (6.5 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 (12-ounce) can of simple beer

Canola oil

24 white corn tortillas

2 cups crumbled Cotija chees

4 limes, cut into wedges

Tomatillo Salsa Verde (recipe follows)

 

Directions

Preheat a large slow cooker on the low setting for at least 20 minutes.

 

Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels and season it very well all over with salt and the pepper. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and when the oil is shimmering, add the pork shoulder and sear it for 5 minutes per side, until golden. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.

 

Reduce the heat to medium and add the lard to the skillet. Once it has melted, add the large-diced onion and the garlic; cook for 5 minutes, until softening. Add this to the slow cooker, along with the coriander, cinnamon, lime juice, chipotle in adobo, and the beer. Cover with the lid and cook on the low setting for 12 hours while you drink the remaining cans of beer that came in your six-pack.

 

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add a touch of canola oil. Griddle the tortillas, one or two at a time, for a few seconds per side until warmed through and toasty. As you process through the tortillas, stack and place them in a resealable plastic bag to stay warm.

 

Put the braised pork in a serving vessel and serve with warm tortillas, minced onion, Cotija, lime wedges, and Tomatillo Salsa Verde, plus any other toppings you love on a taco.

 

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Makes 2 cups

 

6 to 8 tomatillos, coarsely chopped (2 cups)

1 small sweet onion, large-diced

1 packed cup fresh cilantro stems and leaves

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ tablespoons thinly sliced seeded serrano chiles

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

 

Directions

Combine the tomatillos, onion, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, chiles, and olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt to taste. This can be prepared ahead of time, and will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

 

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