Pork and Beet Tacos
My old friend, Mani, always says "beet your meat" and what better way than with pork and beet tacos! Like quite a few things I've made, this was developed from leftovers, but I'll walk you through how to bring it all together cooking it all from scratch.
- 3-4 lb pork roast (or use leftover from another meal)
- salt and pepper
- 4 beets, diced (choose your favorite - I love the mix of golden and red)
- 1 green pear (I like it firm for the crunch)
- 1 conehead cabbage (or 1 regular green cabbage)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- balsamic glaze (you can purchase this in a squeeze bottle from the grocery store)
First things first - get that pork roast into the crockpot in the morning. Just salt and pepper it (3 teaspoons salt and 3 teaspoons pepper), 2 cups water, and put it on low for 8 hours. You can add anything else you might normally add to your roast because you're probably not going to use all of this for tacos. You may want to add a few sprigs of thyme and 2 cloves of minced garlic, but a basic roast can be doctored up later with all kinds of things.
Next, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tops and clean up your beets. Some people peel them, but I usually keep the skins on. Cut them into 1.5 inch pieces and place in a bowl, drizzling 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread out on a baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. (I tried something this same friend above recommended and it worked out great. Place the baking sheet on the very bottom of the oven and let them roast there. They turned out perfectly.) Roast for 30-35 minutes and set aside to cool. (*For another meal, toss the beets in a little fresh orange juice and zest.)
Bringing it all together. Pull the pork from the crockpot, draining off most of the liquid. Use a fork to shred it and set aside covered to keep warm. For the tacos, take a cabbage leaf and use it as a shell. Add in a little pork, some additionally shredded cabbage, a couple small dollops of ricotta, some diced pear, and some roasted beets. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze. It is sweet and savory, tender and crunchy, fresh and comforting all at once.