This past month has been pretty crazy. I started a new position at work, which is going great, and have started jogging again after my several-month-long holiday break from any kind of physical labor. The combination of these two things has made me pretty tired once I get home from work, and it’s also made me crave my one of my go-to comfort foods, tacos. But I didn’t want to have just any kind of tacos to come home to, I wanted to have some that would brighten my day and really give me something to look forward to after my jogs. So, I looked around the McCormick Flavor Forecast and used their recipe for roobios-smoked sea bass and caramelized plums, but gave it a Mexican-spin. I also added some grapefruit to the salsa because Chef Mark Garcia kept mentioning grapefruits in the McCormick Flavor Forecast webinar and how they should be used more frequently, as one would use lemons or limes. The result was awesome. Smoky rich pork meat covered with a refreshingly sweet and spicy salsa.
Also, if you’re worried about not having a smoker for this recipe, worry no more! McCormick explained how to create a little makeshift smoker in your own oven, which I have re-explained in this post. All you need is tin foil, a roasting pan, and a wire rack that can fit inside the roasting pan.
Roobios Smoked Pork
4.5 lbs Pork shoulder
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Sweet Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
3 Tablespoons Roobios Tea
Plum Grapefruit Salsa
1 Jalepeno Pepper
1 Red Chili Pepper, such as a Fresno Pepper
1/3 Cup Water
2 Grapefruits, peeled and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
2 Plums, pitted and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon Grapefruit Zest
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Shredded Cabbage (optional)
Shredded Mexican Cheese (optional)
Flour or Corn Tortillas, taco-sized
First begin by making the smoked pork. In a large bowl, mix together the garlic cloves, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, salt, and 2 teaspoons of the roobios tea until well blended. Cut the pork shoulder into 2 evenly-sized pieces and then cut several holes into the flesh, about 2-3 inches deep. Place both pieces of pork shoulder in the marinade and rub the marinade into them, making sure to rub it down into the holes. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large roasting pan with tin foil and sprinkle the 3 tablespoons of roobios tea on the bottom. Place a wire rack in the pan and then place a tin foil boat/bowl on top of it. Place the pork shoulder pieces in the bowl. Now seal the roasting pan with tin foil, pressing tightly around the edges. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the pork is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the pork shoulder is cooking, make the salsa. Remove and discard the seeds from the red chili and the jalapeno peppers. Place them in a blender or food processor with the water and blend until relatively smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a medium sized bowl and add all of the other ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate until the pork is finished.
When the pork is done, allow it to cool for 30 minutes before cutting the meat away from the shoulder bone. Place the meat in a large bowl and “shred” it by pulling it apart with two forks in opposite directions.
Toast the tortillas on a hot salted pan for 30 seconds on each side. Place as much of the pork as you’d like on the taco and any taco fixin’s you’d like. Spoon the salsa over the taco and serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.