Patient Shredded Pork Enchiladas!

These are the most mouthwatering, delicious pork enchiladas that I have ever enjoyed and the best part is that I was able to share it with my friends and family!

This recipe requires a bit of patience but the payoff is huge. Plus, if you double up, you are sure to have plenty of leftovers for lunch throughout the week!

One thing that might make you cringe is the lack of liquid in the slow cooker, but don’t worry – it is worth the bits of that rub baking onto the side of the slow cooker and the slightly burnt sugary smell that will infiltrate your kitchen when you open the lid because the meat inside is juicy, tender and oh so delicious! If you would rather, you can bake this in the oven at 300°C for about 6-8 hours but the slow cooker IS our salvation in the summer time!

Plan to start making this meat a day and a half before you plan to have these enchiladas for dinner.

Say WHAT??

Seriously, the brine is what keeps the meat tender and juicy for its long, dry cook and the pork will just rest in the brine overnight. I always get this going in the brine after the kids go to bed. Then it’s ready for the slow cooker by breakfast, and cooked by dinnertime. Then because I can, I let it sit in the fridge and let the flavors really develop another day before I shred it and make the enchiladas. Of course, you can make the enchiladas straight away after you shred the meat and more power to you if you do!

We really enjoy a dollop of sour cream and Perfectly Addictive Guacamole on top of our enchiladas as well as a sprinkling of diced tomatoes and ribbons of crunchy lettuce on top! Enjoy your enchiladas however you like!

PORK DRY RUB
INGREDIENTS:                                                                             yields approximately two cups

  • 1 TBS Cumin
  • 1TBS Ground Pepper
  • 1TBS Garlic Powder
  • 1TBS Onion Powder
  • 1TBS Chili Powder
  • 1TBS Cayenne Pepper
  • 1TBS Salt
  • 1TBS Paprika
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed

To make the rub, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stirring until thoroughly combined. Cover or transfer to an airtight container and set aside.

PORK BRINE
INGREDIENTS:                                                                                    yields 2.5 quarts

  • 1/2 Cup Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Quarts (8 Cups) Water, slightly warmer than room temperature to aid in dissolving salt and sugar
  • 3 TBS Pork Dry Rub (**see recipe above**)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2.5-3.5 lb Pork Shoulder

To make the brine solution; add salt, sugar and water to your slow cooker. Using a whisk, whisk together until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Add the dry rub, bay leaves and pork shoulder. Make sure everything is submerged in the water then transfer the slow cooker insert carefully to the refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the pork to brine or “pickle,” for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will keep the pork very juicy and tender for the long cooking process tomorrow.

Once the pork has set in the brine long enough, dump the brine solution out of the insert and rinse off the pork shoulder. Put the pork shoulder back into the slow cooker insert, pat the pork shoulder dry, and dry (with separate paper towels) the outside of the insert.

Use the reserved Pork Dry Rub to generously rub and coat all the surfaces of the pork shoulder. It should turn a deep, vibrant red color. Adding no liquid to the slow cooker, cover and cook the pork shoulder. Cook on LOW for 4-6 HOURS until the meat is easily shredded with a fork.

Transfer to an airtight container if you are not assembling it straight away; alternatively you can put plastic wrap over the top, put the lid back on it and stick the entire insert back into the fridge. Or move onto the next step.

 

PATIENT SHREDDED PORK ENCHILADAS
INGREDIENTS:                                                                                                 yields 6-8 servings

  • 2.5-3.5lb Cooked Shredded Pork from previous step
  • one 15 oz can of Refried Beans, warmed and thinned with 1 TBS of water
  • 8 Burrito size Tortillas (corn or flour, we prefer flour)
  • two 15 oz cans of Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheese, a mix of mozzarella, Parmesan, sharp and mild cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Get out a large, 13 X 9 inch baking dish. Pour one-third of one can of enchilada sauce in the bottom. Just enough to coat the bottom.

Starting with one tortilla, fit it to the pan, holding up one side of it while you spoon about 1.5 TBS worth of refried beans into the tortilla. Use the spoon to spread the refried beans across the tortilla length-wise. Then spoon about 2.5-3.5 TBS of shredded pork on top of the refried beans. fold the shorter end of the tortilla over the toppings then take the longer side of the tortilla and kind of tuck it over and under the tortilla to keep it closed. I find that it stays closed a bit better if you rub a little enchilada sauce like glue to keep the tortilla closed and even turning the filled tortilla so that the flap is more secured to the bottom of the tortilla.

Repeat with remaining seven tortillas. Feel free to fill the tortillas to your liking!

Once the pan is filled with enchiladas, use the remaining enchilada sauce to spoon over the top of the tortillas. I like to make sure it drizzles down the sides of the enchiladas to get that flavored goodness all over. Then sprinkle the top with the grated cheese!

Put the baking dish on top of a baking sheet and slide it carefully into the oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the cheese on top has melted and turned a golden brown color. Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving!

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