Poor Rich Kids

Lifestyle #8: Pork Tacos

Posted in Lifestyle Advice, Uncategorized by thepoors on March 17, 2009

pork_shoulder_picnic_42kb

Jobby types are always saying “time is money, dammit steve, TIME IS MONEY!” or some such bullshit. Maybe in a world where you are paid $400/hour to read emails or whatever it is those people do when they are “at the office” time is money, but for the PRK time is mostly, well, time. So while expensing sushi actually makes sense if you are planning to spend the next three hours earning $1200 to read Bloomberg, snort blow, and masturbate in the handicap bathroom, the PRK must find other solutions for dinner. Fear not, in a world where time is absolutely meaningless…fuck it: this shit will take a while, but it is super cheap and way delicious.

THE PRK ROAST PORK TACO:

1/2 pork butt/shoulder — $3.79

this is sold at fancy butcher shops as pork butt, but at the Bravo supermarket on 128th and St. Nicholas its labeled plainly as pork shoulder and sells for $1.69/lb.

Olive oil — $0.15

Though not generally considered cheap, you rarely need very much. Like Vogue Magazine might say about an absurdly priced YSL bag — consider some decent oil an investment piece.

2 carrots —  $0.10

1 onion — negligible

2 cups old wine/1 half-drunk Presidente — $0.65–$1.75.

two cups of wine may seem like an expense until I tell you that super cheep wine is not only OK, but will actually be great, because all the extra sugar will work wonders on your cut. Half a beer is a) cheep b) the second half is a little gift to yourself for being so diligent.

1 bay leaf —  $0.06

If you are anything like us, your roommate bought a huge box of these for some notion that may or may not have panned out. And no one minds you taking one of their bay leaves because no one can imagine going through an entire box of bay leaves. They really up-sell you on that, don’t they?

1 glug apple cider vinegar — $0.06

1 tbsp chilli black bean paste —  $0.12

chilibeanpaste-707505

Admittedly an odd thing to have in your fridge–and I would only use this if I already had some–but I highly recommend keeping some around. You can get it all over Chinatown and it can do wonders on nights when your fridge and cupboards are looking particularly empty.

2 tbsp tomato paste — $0.06

Learning how to keep stuff in your fridge is a good skill that keeps on giving, teach a man to fish and all that. You can buy tomato paste in big cans and save it in a plastic take-away container for over a month.

salt and pepper — if you dont have salt and pepper, then this recipe may not be for you.

tap water.

small corn tortillas — 20 for $0.75
TOTAL: $5.99

On the stove top, in a dutch oven or any pot that can go both on the stove and in the oven, heat up the olive oil just until it starts to smoke. Put in the pork fat side down and toast until the skin starts to brown and crackle. Deglaze the pan with wine/beer, meaning pour in the alcohol and scrape the sides of the pot so that all crispy meat bits end up in the broth.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 275 degrees.

Dice carrots and onions, and add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Fill the pot with water until the roast is covered about 3/4. Make sure at this point that the fat/skin side is up. place the lid on the pot and place the whole kit into the oven. SET IT AND FORGET IT. Every now and again check on it, flipping the roast over, every couple of hours. Do this for 3 to 7 hours. As a PRK this should be no problem because most likely you are at home working or just plain avoiding spending any money.

When the meat is done braising (touch it, it should be getting soft) put the shoulder, fat side up, into a roasting pan and place back in the oven, basting with the braising liquid as the broth slowly becomes gravy on the stove. If you don’t have the time to do this all at once, its fine to stop and start again, especially in between the braising and the roasting. At this temperature, with constant basting the meat can cook almost indefinitely.

When the meat is so tender that it starts to fall off the bone, its done. Take a fork and knife to the roast and pull it apart, place a few ladles (there won’t be much more left after its cooked down) the gravy liquid over the pulled meat. Your done! Keep this in a Tupperware, it can be heated up by the spoonful in a frying pan, but definitely try at least one taco when it first comes out the oven.

Place your small tortilla directly over the flame on your oven or toast in  small frying pan. Fill with pork and gravy — dont ignore the fat and skin, but a little bit goes a long way.

For $0.30 per you have just made a perfectly cooked pork taco. For an extra treat and a dime added, fry up an egg-over-medium, throw it in and call it breakfast.

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