Build Your Own Tex-Mex Feast with Crock-Pot Chile Verde Pulled Pork and Mindy’s Mexi-Cuke Salad is a hot-cool flavor explosion to go with.
Make-ahead party menus are an R.B. and Mindy favorite. Relaxed hosts absolutely guarantee party success (although a couple good guests help a lot). It’s that simple.
As we head outdoors for casual patio dining, keep in mind that last-minute grilling isn’t the only option. Instead, consider an everything-is-ready-early fabulous Tex-Mex feast with a centerpiece of spicy Crock-Pot Chile Verde Pulled Pork. The pork butt is slow-cooked with tomatillos and pickled jalapeños. It’s just short of a miracle how these two tart ingredients enhance and infuse the meat with terrific flavor in the same manner as vinegary barbecue sauce. Both products are easy to find in the Mexican section of the supermarket. Use the jalapeño peppers labeled “en escabeche” which are flavored with carrots and onions. Dump the whole can into the Crock-Pot with the pork.
Now, crowd the table with stacks of flour and corn tortillas, chips and all kinds of fresh sides and condiments for build-your-own lively fun. Think fresh pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, pinto beans, pickled cucumbers and onions, mashed avocado, fresh sliced hot peppers, salsas, olives and shredded cheeses. Whatever you like, with emphasis on plentiful and colorful. It loosens up the table to have everyone reaching, creating and having just a little more.
Turn the idle grilling area into the bar or a space for overflow dishes. Stir up and chill down pitchers of your signature sangria or margarita punch. There’s no need for the blender. And ice down some crisp Mexican lager.
- 1 pork butt (about 6 pounds), cut into large chunks
- 1 large can (28 ounces) tomatillos, drained and coarsely chopped or crushed
- 1 can (12 ounces) pickled jalapeno pepper slices (en escabeche), undrained
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons crushed oregano
- Salt, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients except the salt in a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high about 6 hours or until the meat is pull-apart tender.
- Season with salt, to taste.
- Mexi Cuke Salad
- 1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
- 8 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 medium to large onion, thinly sliced
- Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Fresh seranno chile peppers, thinly sliced (to taste, I use a few depending how hot you want it)
- 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill before serving.
- Increase the amount of the vinegar mixture if you like by using equal amounts of vinegar and water.
- A good pinch of salt is a good thing, too.
- You may want to double this recipe for serving with the chile verde. We tend to pile it on.