Here's the original recipe:
While at Walmart, I picked up the simple ingredient list: pork shoulder roast, tortillas, green salsa, two serrano peppers, cilantro, and an onion. The recipe called for a white onion, but I used a red onion. I like red onions better. I also picked up some cumin since I was out, even though it wasn't on the ingredient list, and some pico de gallo to top the tacos before serving. Some of the comments to the recipe suggested adding some cumin. The total cost was just under $12.00. Thankfully it was inexpensive because (spoiler alert) it wasn't good.
How easy is this? You probably have garlic salt and pepper, so you'll just need five ingredients, then your choice of how to serve--tortillas, rice, or something else--and toppings if you choose to serve as tacos.
The recipe was insanely easy:
1) Line Crockpot (I added this step). Makes for easier clean up.
2) Chop the onion. I also chopped the serrano pepper into thin rounds but removed the seeds. Per the recipe, it may have called for the peppers to be dropped in whole to infuse. I couldn't tell. I like it hot though, so I thinly sliced both peppers.
3) Remove cilantro leaves from the stems. I find the stems really unappealing. See this blog entry.
4) At this point, I put the onion, serrano peppers, and cilantro in a tupperware and stored in the refrigerator overnight so I could literally dump everything in the Crockpot in the morning.
Ingredients all chopped and ready to go in the refrigerator.
5) In the morning, I poured the onion-pepper-cilantro mix into my lined Crockpot. Then I added the pork shoulder roast (I left the strings holding it together on to hold in moisture as it cooks), seasoned with garlic salt and cracked black pepper on both sides.
Line the bottom of the Crockpot with the veggies.
Place the shoulder roast on top. Season with garlic salt and black pepper. Flip and season the other side.
6) Last, I added the can of green salsa and dusted the whole thing with cumin.
I purchased the smallest jar of green salsa. If you're going to use the sauce, or want lots of salsa verde flavor, consider using a larger container.
7) I set the timer on the Crockpot for 8.5 hours and let it cook on the low heat setting.
When I came home from work, I could smell subtle flavors of pork cooking but nothing too spicy. I opened the Crockpot and cut away the butcher twine. I also regretted leaving it on since some of the salsa and spices stuck to it. The pork instantly melted. When I went to separate it with forks, it pretty much disintegrated. At first, I thought it was the most tender pork I'd ever seen. Then I reconsidered...it was too soft! Even with the two serranos chopped up in the mix, it was not spicy. Just minimum hints of the salsa verde.
Cutting the butcher's twine off the roast.
Finished product in the Crockpot. A lot of soft, mush pork.
I warmed the tortillas, chopped a third serrano pepper into thin rings, plucked more cilantro from its stems, and assembled the tacos. Mine were tortilla, pork, cilantro, and pico de gallo. Greg's included tortilla, pork, cilantro, cheese, pico, and sour cream.
It almost looks pretty dressed up with the pico, serrano peppers, and cilantro.
I tried to be open minded, but it just wasn't good. The pork might as well have been ground pork because it was so mushy. Or old person food. Or cat food. The flavor was fine--subtle pork with a little zip from the pico and serrano peppers. Without the pico or peppers, I wouldn't have been able to eat it.
It's gross--absolute mush! Kind of the texture of canned tuna.
It was slightly more tolerable without the tortilla--just a few bites of meat on a plate with pico, cilantro, and serrano peppers.
A little better without the tortilla. But still mushy.
Admittedly, I'm confused. The Allrecipes reviews are almost completely good. Either everyone likes mushy food or something went wrong with this. I'd consider making it again, but roasting it to try to get some firm edges and soft pork in the middle. The flavor was pleasant enough--subtle--but nothing to warrant all the four and five star reviews. That or I've developed a really discerning palate!
Insider tip: don't make this. Or make it in the oven so you can keep an eye on it after browning the outside and getting some really roasted edges. Or make it if you lost your dentures.