Fajita-spiced pork roast

Nothing beats putting something in the slow cooker for supper, especially if you get several meals from it and even better, if it’s extremely simple. This only requires three things – meat, seasoning, beer. The fajita seasoning makes this perfect for softshells but it works for pork sandwiches too. For this dish start a day before you want to serve it, with a 5-6 pound pork shoulder. Because there’s quite a lot of fat dispersed throughout you’ll lose a fair amount of that weight by the time it’s cooked but that’s OK. Fat contributes flavor and juiciness. After cooking remove as much as possible and set it out for the birds flocking around your feeder.

Although commercially prepared spice mixes are easy to find, I prefer to mix my own so they can be customized to suit our tastes. This fajita spice mix takes just a couple of minutes to toss together and will stay fresh for up to 6 months as long as you start with fresh spices. The cornstarch is in it to help thicken juices when cooking meat for fajitas. The cornstarch is not essential for this recipe so you can leave it out if you want just spices.

The only other thing you need is beer. I favor a dark beer like Modelo Negra. You need about 1/4 cup in the slow cooker and you can save the rest to drink as a perfect complement to the softshells. Save the cooking juices, refrigerate overnight and then skim off the fat layer. Freeze or refrigerate this bonus flavoring to add to stews or soups.

-– Joan, 12 January 2018

Fajita-seasoned pork roast

Fajita seasoning mix

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all spices together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Make the roast

  • 5-6 pound pork shoulder, tied
  • olive oil for browning
  • Fajita seasoning

Use paper towels to dry off the pork, then rub the fajita seasoning all over it. Be generous! Place roast in a ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oil in a heavy pan and brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker, sprinkle with a little more seasoning and pour about 1/4 cup dark beer in with the meat. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. At the end of cooking time remove the roast and cut off ties or netting. Let it cool a bit till you can handle it, then remove as much fat as possible. The meat should fall apart easily at this point. Discard the fat. Pour the cooking juices into a container, cover and refrigerate overnight. When it’s cooled and separated you can remove the fat layer and refrigerate or freeze the juices for other uses. The shredded pork makes a great softshell. We like to top the meat with coleslaw mix, cilantro, cheese and Bolthouse Cilantro and Avocado dressing. Leftover meat makes great sandwiches with barbecue sauce and pickle relish.


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