This lesser known Mexican classic has quite a kick. But then we have the Dr. Pepper to sweeten things up. The other great thing about using the soda is that it works to help tenderize the meat as it cooks. Perfect on tostadas, as a taco, or in sandwiches.
Recipe: Dr. Pepper Pork Tingas
- 2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2″ cubes
- 4 Thai chilis, whole
- 2 pickled long red peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. Mexican oregano (can substitute marjoram in a pinch)
- 2 12 oz. cans Cherry Dr. Pepper
- 1 c. dried cherries
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 c. tomato purée
- 1/4 c. cider vinegar
- 2 tbl. smoked hot paprika (or chipotle, or a mix of the two to taste)
- vegetable oil
- Salt the pork, and place it along with the chilis, red pepper, cinnamon, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, dried cherries, and the soda into a slow cooker over low heat for 6-8 hours, until the pork is falling-apart tender.
- Strain off the liquid into a wide pan (like a saucier or a deep skillet), add the tomato purée and vinegar. Put over high heat, and reduce by 2/3 to make a fairly thick, glossy sauce.
- While the sauce is reducing, shred the pork (a fork is perfect for this.) Sauté the onions in vegetable oil over high heat until translucent and beginning to brown, then add the pork and continue cooking, stirring frequently, over high heat until some of the edges of the pork get crispy. Combine with the reduced sauce and serve hot.
- Serve on fresh tostadas topped with your favorite toppings: onions, diced tomato, avocado, pineapple, green onion, and shredded cheese, with some lime wedges to add a little brightness (Just to name a few things). You could also use it on tacos or sandwiches too.
Note: Thai chilis may be labeled as Bird Chilis in your grocer. You can use habeneros or jalapenos if you want to bring the heat down a notch.