June 01

Pinto Bean Pork

I’ll admit when I sat down to start writing this entry, I was jumping back and forth between an episode of Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, no less!), researching “chalupas”, and frantically checking a zillion and two news sources regarding the bad string of weather bearing down on the Midwest. Not only was it shocking to see that Oklahoma City was possibly in trouble, but the idea that I have a handful of friends throughout Missouri and Illinois (and not to mention family in southern Michigan – which thankfully it fizzled out before getting there) was nerve-wracking. In fact, besides having Doctor Who on in the background, I dropped what I was doing to focus on local live streams, refreshing a reddit thread on new developments, and making sure people were safe.

Truth be told, I forgot I was even working on this entry, since once the weather tracking ended, I got tied up in looking after The Fellow™ who has a nasty stomach thing going on. When I’m not checking in on him, the dog’s busy head-butting him in the stomach and jumping all over him. Because that helps, right?

Anyway, on to this pinto bean pork recipe!

Nothing says comfort food more than an ooey, gooey, warm meal that’s tasty and filling, that takes little to no effort to make. If it’s in the crockpot, even better! So when I found this recipe via Pinterest, over at Pinch of Yum, I knew I had to make it. At some point.

Well, we were supposed to have company tonight. Just one friend coming over, but company nonetheless and I do love to entertain. I don’t know how it ended up like this, but when this one particular friend comes over, I inevitably make some sort of TexMex/Mexican meal. Maybe because a little goes a long way when you get all the other bits and pieces together, e.g. shredded lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and basically anything else you add to TexMex/Mexican food that stretches everything a little further. Since pork tenderloin isn’t something I have readily available in my freezer, I popped on down to Albertson’s, picked up a $9 chunk (I’m sad I’m out of ink in my printer; I could have gotten a handy dandy $1 off coupon for Hormel Always Tender pork tenderloin – which, hey, is a buck less I would have had to pay!), and got all the other things I needed. I plopped them all together in the crockpot and monitored it throughout the day, mostly to make sure the liquid didn’t cook out too fast.

I shredded romaine from the garden, mashed up avocado, and waited patiently for this dish to finish. Then The Fellow™ came home and said he nearly ralphed on the bus ride home and proceeded to go pass out in bed. That’s when the dog decided to be his keeper while I fed myself and took to making a general mess of myself trying to eat this ooey, gooey, warm and filling pork and pinto bean dinner. I’d say The Fellow™ doesn’t know what he’s missing, but I’m sure if he even tried to eat, he wouldn’t be able to keep it down. :(

Something of note — the recipe I used for this referred to these as crockpot chalupas. However, traditionally, chalupas are thinly pressed masa discs that are formed to make a shallow bowl shape, then deep fried to a crisp. Based off of the recipe itself and what the author talks about, these really are more just like flat tacos or flat tostadas. And did you know, in central Mexico, the fried tortillas are topped with mashed potatoes, and elsewhere, the tortillas are shaped like the hull of a boat (chalupa = “small boat”) and filled with beans, sour cream, and chipotle pepper? The latter are rather large in size (long) and you can buy mini ones as appetizers, called chalupitas. Regardless of what this dish is actually called, it’s mind-blowingly delicious and easy and deserves to be served at your dinner table. Not to mention it’s less than 350 calories a serving, chock full of protein and health carbs, and almost an entire daily serving of fiber.

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Pinto Bean Pork

source:  Pinch of Yum [Crockpot Chalupas]

Ingredients

1 – 1½ pound pork shoulder
1 pound dry pinto beans (rinsed)
6 ounces light beer
1 15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers or other hot chili, minced (ribs and seeds removed to keep it mild)
2 teaspoons chili powder*
2 teaspoon cumin*
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper*
*AND/OR a tablespoon or two of taco seasoning
generous pinch or two of salt
1½ cups water
¾ cup shredded cheese
corn or flour tortillas, or tortilla chips

Directions

1. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Cover with dry pinto beans, beer, tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, taco seasoning, salt, and 1½ cups water. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 4-6 hours. Don’t open the lid – it adds to the cooking time.

2. Remove the lid after the cooking time and shred the pork using two forks. You can do this directly in the slow cooker. If it’s too runny, continue to cook with the cover off for a little while. If it’s too dry, add more water.

3. Sprinkle cheese on top, replace the lid, and cook for another 30 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Place tortillas directly on the oven rack and bake for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the tortillas and bake for another 1-2 minutes under golden brown and crunchy. Be careful because they burn easily! Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. Top each tortilla with pork and bean mixture and sour cream, avocado, lettuce, etc.

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