The Big Game is just around the corner. Are you ready?
Our Big Game menus vary each year. Some years we have an elaborate menu, and other years we are low key. This year, we are going the easy but insanely delicious route. No one will ever know that this meal didn’t take too much effort at all.I am making two kinds of tacos; pork carnitas and for dessert, cheesecake churro inspired tacos. This is a great menu idea for just the family or a big crowd.
For our Big Game feast, I am making tacos two ways. A delicious, tender pork carnitas taco and for dessert, cheesecake churro inspired tacos. This is a great menu idea for just the family or a big crowd and is sure to be a pleaser.
Pork Carnitas Tacos
My family loves pork so when I decided to make something a little outside of the box, I decided that I would make pork carnitas for our Big Game tacos. We used Old El Paso Bold Ranch taco shells and stuffed them with pork carnitas, red cabbage, radishes, and fresh cilantro. Yummy!
To make the carnitas
Making the carnitas was simple. I dragged out my trusty slow cooker so the pork would be tender and perfect for shredding.
You will need a four to four and a half pound pork shoulder (I used boneless, though bone in would also be great), an orange, a lime, a yellow onion, garlic, your favorite hot sauce, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.
Cover the roast liberally with salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the oregano, cumin, and coriander together then rub the spices into the meat. Place the meat in the slow cooker and cover with chopped onion, garlic, hot sauce, and the juice from the orange and lime squeezed over the pork. Toss in the remaining fruit and cook on low for 7-8 hours. If necessary, add about a half cup of water halfway through cooking if your pork isn’t making as much juice as you would like. With an hour left to cook, shred the pork with two forks and let the shredded pork soak in the juice for the remainder of the cook time.
Fill a taco shell with the pork and the toppings of your choice, then enjoy. Plus you will be left with delicious leftovers to use for enchiladas, burritos, or pork sandwiches.
Cheesecake Churro Dessert Tacos
Now, these . . . these were a huge hit and my family might expect me to make them on a weekly basis now. I took inspiration from the Mexican churro to create these dessert tacos. I took some Old El Paso Mini Taco Boats and baked them with cinnamon and sugar and filled them with cheesecake pudding (yes, you read that right) and topped them with fruit. Yes, you want this. You really, really want this!
These Mini Taco Boats are the perfect size for a dessert taco and are so easy to work with.
You could fry them, which was my original plan until I realized that I didn’t have enough oil for my fryer. Oops! The ability to improvise is important in the kitchen, so instead, I brushed the taco boat with melted butter and sprinkled them inside and out with cinnamon sugar.
Once coated, I put them under the broiler for one minute, then flipped them over and broiled them for another minute. Check them after 45 seconds so they don’t burn. This gave them a nice amount of crunch, but not so much crunch that they fell apart.
Once the shells have cooled, it’s time to fill them with the cheesecake pudding and top with your favorite berries. Oh my yum!
Pork Carnitas & Cheesecake Churro Dessert Tacos
- ★ PORK CARNITAS ★
- 4 - 4.5 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp hot sauce I use Cholula
- 1 orange cut in half
- 1 lime cut in half
- ★ CHEESECAKE CHURRO DESSERT TACOS ★
- 1 package Old El Paso Mini Taco Boats
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- Cinnamon sugar
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups cold milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
★ PORK CARNITAS ★
Sprinkle pork liberally with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine oregano, cumin, and coriander and rub into pork
Put pork in a slow cooker and squeeze the juice of an orange and a lime over the pork, put the fruit in the slow cooker.
Drizzle hot sauce on the pork then cover with garlic and chopped onions
Cook for 7-8 hours. In last hour, shred pork with two forks and let it cook in the slow cooker for the last hour.
* If you need more liquid, add water and half cup at a time.
Put shredded pork in a taco shell and cover with your favorite toppings. We used red cabbage, radishes, and fresh cilantro.
★ CHEESECAKE CHURRO DESSERT TACOS ★
Coat the taco boats with melted butter on both sides, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Put under the broiler for one minute per side.
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the cold milk over medium-high heat. Continue to whisk until the mixture is thick. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla and the cream cheese. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours.
Fill the cooled baked taco boats with pudding and top with berries.
You can buy Old El Paso Mini Taco Boats and other taco shells from your local Walmart in the Latin Foods aisle. They are extremely versatile for dessert tacos and regular tacos. We always have a package of them in our pantry.