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 a Cheater Chef favorite. Relaxed hosts absolutely guarantee party success (although a couple of good guests help a lot). It’s that simple. And Crock-Pot Chile Verde Pulled Pork with these cool-hot Mexi-Cukes are the bomb with any Tex-Mex and New Mex menu.
Whenever the weather warms and cold season cooking begins to fade, keep in mind that last-minute patio grilling isn’t the only option. Your slow cooker is a year-round champ for getting great meals prepared. So, consider an everything-is-ready-early fabulous Tex-Mex feast with a centerpiece of spicy Crockpot Chile Verde Pulled Pork. The pork butt is slow-cooked with tomatillos and pickled jalapeños rich in the crock. 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 canned 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. Use whatever you like with emphasis on plentiful and colorful. It loosens up the table to have everyone reaching, creating their own perfect bites, and having just a little more.
Turn the idle grilling area into the bar or 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 with a bowl of lime wedges and hot sauce.
- 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. Makes about 16 servings.
For the 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 serrano chile peppers, thinly sliced (to taste, I use a few depending on 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 the recipe if you are serving a crowd.