Super Bowl Tacos

Coffee & Spice Pork Butt Tacos

I have been in India for the past week and one thing always amazes me about the country - the incredible quality of food that one can get at amazingly low prices. I am not even talking about street food. An average meal in an upscale restaurant (in Mumbai or Chennai) would set one back $25 without alcohol. A bowl of fruit would be $4. Oh and fresh fruit juices! I drink them by the gallon, for two reasons. One, they are pure fruit with no added water and so there is no risk of getting a

Delhi belly

. Two, they are a super cheap way of hydration and nutrients! A large glass of fresh squeezed juice would be about $6 in NYC and here it is $2. So, what I would spend on a whole breakfast here is the cost of a glass of juice in NYC. Bliss, I say!

With that preface let me delve into today's post. It is about eating well without breaking the bank wherever you are. I firmly believe that if you plan well and choose ingredients appropriately, you can not only eat well but also exciting at home. It is honestly, super easy to dine on restaurant quality meals at home at a fraction of the price one would pay outside.

Coffee & Spice Pork Butt Wraps with drink

You don't believe me? Well, I am hoping to build just that credibility with today's recipe. As part of their

Cook More, Save More

campaign,

Whole Foods Market

challenged me to create an original recipe that would make it interesting to cook at home. The clincher - it has to cost no more than $4 per serving!

My answer to that challenge is

Mayan Spice and Coffee Pulled Pork Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa and Avocado

. Before I get down to the cents and dollars, let me tell you the virtues of this dish.

1. It is perfect for a party (read: Super Bowl). The recipe is easily scalable and can be made for a family meal or a gathering.

2. It can be made ahead of upto 3 days. In fact, it only gets better with age!

3. It is no fuss! Either to cook or to serve. It can be made in an oven or a slow cooker and so you don't have to watch over it much . Plus, everyone can assemble their own per preference.

4. It is one of those all hands into bowl kinda meals that brings everyone together at eating time.

5. The clincher - It is less than $4 per person.

Coffee & Spice Pork Butt Wraps

Now, that is done, lets get dirty on the pricing. My recipe serves 10 persons and the costing is based on Whole Foods in NYC (which, is costlier than any other place in US)

1. Pork - $22

2. Onion - $0.25

3. Tomato - $0.50

4. Pomegranate - $1

5. Cilantro - $1

6. Mayan Spice and Coffee Rub - $3.98

7. Honey - ~0.25

8. Flour for tacos - ~$0.25

9. Avocado - $4

10. Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream - ~$2

11. Homemade Vegetable stock - ~$0.1 or store bought - $2

12. Lime - $0.20

Total = ~$38 or

$3.80 per person!

Now, that is cheap! As you can see the meat is heaviest hitter here and for good reason. The dish is all about the meat and it has to be of great quality, so you can really enjoy the meal. Do not skimp on quality here. I used pork butt with a little bit of fat for flavor. You can also use beef brisket instead of pork. As to the rest of the ingredient list, you can easily substitute per your taste and seasonal availability. For example, mango would be great in the summer. Besides, you can barbecue the meat instead of braising it as well. So, without further ado, let me get to the recipe. As promised, in the title, there is also a giveaway sponsored by Whole Foods, details of which are at the end of the post!


Mayan Spice and Coffee Pulled Pork Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa and Avocado

For the pork:

4 lbs Pork butt, fat mostly trimmed but leave a bit for flavor

2 packets of Mayan Spice and Coffee Rub

1/2 cup Honey

About 2 cups stock

2 T olive oil

For the salsa:

2 Onions, diced fine

1 Tomato, diced fine

Arils of 1/2 pomegranate

2 T Cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime

Other toppings:

2 Avocados, sliced

Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream

Β 

For the tacos:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup warm water

2 tsp olive oil

salt to taste

To cook the pork: {Make ahead part}

Β 

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Season the pork butt with salt. In a small pan warm the honey and mix in the spice mix and oil into it. Spread the marinade all over the pork butt.

Drizzle the bottom of a dutch oven large enough to fit the meat with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Place the meat into the pan and pour about half cup of stock into the pan. Place in oven and bake at 450F for 3 minutes.

Lower heat to 275F and cook for about 4 hours or approximately an hour per pound until the meat is very tender and pulls apart easily with a fork. Every hour or so, check and add some stock so the meat does not burn. You may or may not use all two cups of the stock. 

When the meat is tender enough, gently lift it onto a plate and let rest covered for about 15 or so minutes until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, bring the liquid in the pot to a boil and then reduce to simmer until the liquid has reduced in volume to about half the original. 

Using two forks gently shred the meat and toss back with the reduced liquid. This part can be done up to three days ahead. If you are refrigerating at this point, bring to room temperature and then stick it in the fridge. To thaw, warm stove top in a 325F oven adjusting for liquid content.

To make the flour tacos:

Mix all the ingredients and knead to form a soft and tacky dough. Divide the dough into 30 balls. Roll out each ball into a disk of about 6 inches diameter. Cook on a griddle on both sides until little brown spots form on the surface. 

You can spread a touch of butter on each after being cooked if desired. This will keep them softer for longer.

To make salsa:

Toss all the ingredients together, except cilantro and marinate for about thirty minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle the cilantro on top and fold gently.

To assemble:

Lay the table and let people have fun making their wraps!


$50 Whole Foods Market Giveaway

UPDATE: John Forrester wins a $50 from Whole Foods. Thank you for participating!

Whole Foods Market is committed to providing an affordable mix of products and ingredients, along with helpful tools and in-store service to make grocery shopping and cooking more enjoyable. To enable everyone in this mission, they are giving away one $50 gift card to one of my readers.

In order to win this gift card, please leave a comment with what your favorite party meal, to cook, is!

For bonus entries -

1. Like, fork spoon knife FB page

2. Follow me on Twitter

3. Follow me on Instagram

4. Follow me on Pinterest

5. Follow me on Google+

Only new followers. Please leave me a note with your handle when you do any of the above.

Giveaway will run until February 8, 2014 and is open to US residents only.

Happy cooking!

Disclaimer: I was given a $50 voucher by Whole Foods to create this recipe and a $50 gift card to run the giveaway. I received no further remuneration to write this post.