We’ve been working hard to reduce our meals out. We’ve come a long way since we first started dating and I’m thrilled about that. However, we both sometimes miss items found at certain *cough* Chipotle *cough* restaurants.
We’ve agreed to work on finding meals or recipes that satisfy those urges without breaking our budget. A meal out is fine when it’s one or two people. In our case, one or two turns into six people and that’s just not happening, except for special occasions.
Here’s how we get our Chipotle fix for significantly less than half the cost, with plenty of leftovers for school lunches.
I picked up a pork shoulder, also called a picnic cut. It comes with the skin on but that will be discarded. A picnic shoulder is great for classic pulled pork, Texas-style pulled pork, or we can go Tex-Mex as we did today.
Get your crockpot out about 8 – 10 hours before you plan to eat. The pork takes a while to become fork-tender, so please plan accordingly.
- 1 picnic or pork shoulder (usually you buy these by the 1/2, you’ll want a cut that is 3 – 4 pounds, bone-in is fine)
- 1 can green chilies
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Place the pork fat / skin side up in the crockpot. Dump the green chilies over the meat and add one or two chipotle peppers.* Cover and cook on low until fork tender (8 – 10 hours).
Once the pork has finished cooking, remove the meat from the crockpot and place in a large bowl. It will be falling apart, do this carefully to avoid splashing yourself with the drippings. Remove the skin, fat cap, and bone(s) and set those aside. Take two forks and shred the meat, adding a little bit of the drippings and peppers if you would like.
To make burrito bowls you’ll also need:
- beans –pinto or black–
- shredded lettuce or cabbage slaw
- pico de gallo or salsa
- sour cream or chipotle sauce***
*Set one chipotle pepper aside for the sauce, lay the remaining peppers on a sheet of wax paper and freeze. Once they are frozen solid, remove them from the paper and place in a ziploc bag. There’s no need to buy a new can each time you only need one or two peppers.
**We like to make cilantro lime rice. That’s rice, made in the usual way, with a generous squeeze of lime juice and a tsp or so of chopped cilantro for every 1/2 cup of uncooked rice. Sometimes I will stir in the lime juice and cilantro after cooking if I forget. It’s not critical, find the method you prefer
Chipotle Sauce Recipe
You’ll need a blender, I find an immersion blender easier as I can serve it from the cup it was made in, but a regular blender will do. (I’d put it in something nicer for company)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 2 TBSP mayonnaise
- 2 TBSP sour cream
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 squeeze of lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp chopped cilantro (optional)
Blend the ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Fill the bottom of the bowl with rice, add beans, shredded pork, slaw, pico de gallo or salsa, and chipotle sauce.
Guac is extra, even at home.
We love taco flavored meals! Here’s some more recipes to try: