As a child, whenever my mother would announce she was making tacos for dinner, a wave of excitement would rush through me. I'm not sure if it was the take-out essence of the dish that got me going so much as the act of trying to stuff way too many ingredients into one crisp shell. Either way, today I still get very excited when served tacos.
I've upgraded my tastes though. Old El Paso seasoning does not exist in the Rachelle dictionary anymore. But tacos filled with homemade goodies, now there's something to get excited about!
My husband never ceases to wow me with his culinary ideas. Even some of the most simple dishes to make have the illusion of being complex. It's just a matter of taking the time. And I'm horrible at that. For this, he slow-cooked pork shoulder (tenderloin would be excellent), seasoned with salt and pepper, for 7 hours – until it shredded easily. After shredding, pour in some green salsa, enough to make it a bit saucy but not too much. Then season with cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika (makes a big difference), garlic and cumin seeds and let it sit one day before indulging. You can eat it right away, it's just better if it sits for a bit.
When stuffing your tacos, start with the pork and then work your way through your choice of favourite fresh veggies. We used classic tomatoes, lettuce and red onions. The other wow ingredient was a spicy corn relish – AMAZING, and went so beautifully with the pork.
Last but not least, I would normally go straight up with a heated crispy shell. But adding a soft, warm tortilla to the outside acts as a support blanket to the entire concoction, helping you keep everything together, even after over-stuffing. Serve with a spicy Mexican rice or on it's own.