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When it comes to family I am pretty lucky. We have a small, but mighty, extended family and we are truly part of each others lives. Good luck keeping a secret in my family, it is not happening!!
One of the best parts of summer is that we all find a way to get together. Life has certainly taken us all in different directions, but each summer we find our way back together. And having a family BBQ means uncles, aunts, cousins… 2nd, 3rd, once removed everyone is invited in our big extended family.
It is actually pretty fantastic. Everyone picks up where they left off, and now that our younger generation is getting older there are new faces joining the party as our own families take shape.
There is nothing not to love about our family BBQs… well except that we are seriously stuck in a food rut. A rut lined with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Now don’t get me wrong I love a grilled hot dog as much as the next girl (okay maybe a little more!), but there is only so many one can eat in a summer. Not too mention when you are cooking for a crowd you become stuck behind the grill flipping burgers – and who wants that?!
But what else is as easy and mess free as hamburgers and hot dogs? The hand held dinner is a backyard classic for a reason. I’ve thought about how to approach a change in menu, but nothing seemed as easy or crowd pleasing. Until recently that is, when I found inspiration while checking out a new Loblaws City Market. There is no greater shopping experience for a food blogger then checking out a new, fancy market!While basking in the gorgeousness of the market, I happened to come across Old El Paso Taco Bowls. Have you heard of these taco bowls? I hope you haven’t been holding out on me. Coming in mini and regular sizes, I stocked up on both for fun dinners at home and entertaining.Given my love of sliders, it didn’t take long for me to think how fun would it be to mix up the usual hamburger and hot dog BBQ for family time with tacos. Ahh I’m going with VERY fun! My own take on pork carnitas, but done on the BBQ or in my new smoker. Oh I was excited! The rut could actually be broken. This had potential.
And not to say I was right, but I WAS right. The taco boats are amazing! And are made for hosting summer BBQs.
As I passed around a tray of these seriously delicious smoked pork tacos for a recent backyard dinner party, not one person asked for a burger. Time to consider the rut officially O-V-E-R.
- 3.5 lb pork shoulder roast
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ medium white onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
- 2 tbsp ground New Mexico Chiles
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander
- ½ cup orange juice
- Place a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and add onions and garlic. Cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a boil. Cover pot, and remove from heat.
- Once sauce is cool, pour over pork shoulder and allow to marinade in fridge overnight.
- Remove pork roast from fridge and bring to room temperature.
- Preheat smoker to 225F. Cook pork until it reaches internal temperature of 160F.
- Set aside to rest 30 mins, then shred.
- Place shredded meat into taco shells with topping of your choice and garnish with lime and cilantro.
My tray had three topping options for the pork tacos, to make sure I had something everyone would love. The hands down favorite was the grilled peach and mango salsa topping. I grilled mango slices, and added the diced grilled mango to peace and mango salsa. The perfect topping for the pork tacos.My personal favorite was the cabbage and carrot slaw, an easy slaw of shredded vegetables mixed with sour cream and red wine vinegar.Lastly for the traditionalists was a topping of diced tomatoes, in lime juice, and shredded monterey jack cheese.Such a delicious change I think I’m going to have to rename our get togethers Family Fiestas! As if these tacos are not amazing enough, you can easily prepare the meat earlier in the day, or the day before, which means less time flipping burgers and more family time.
Tell me friends is your family stuck in a summer BBQ rut? What are your go to foods for summer entertaining? Hope you ditch the burgers and give these pork tacos a try! Enjoy.