Mariel here. A week ago, my mom dished up some pretty dy-no-mite Root Beer Baked Beans in honor of Labor Day. While her recipe is quick, easy and cheap – and therefore didn’t need to be “dumbed” down for my own tiny kitchen – I was struck by her use of soda to pep up an otherwise ordinary side. So, I thought I’d see what else Root Beer could do.
The following recipe cherry picks from a variety of cuisines including Southern BBQ, Contemporary American and a little South-of-the-Border just for good measure. This rendition of pulled pork isn’t sticky and gloopy, but it’s equally flavorful packing a zippy little medley of savory, sweet and salty all wrapped up in one crispy tortilla. While this can be served any number of ways, I suggest trying it as pictured above (here’s the recipe for my tangy Apple Raisin Slaw). Apples and pork are steady bedfellows, as you well know.
Like many pulled pork recipes, the flavors mature overnight, but if you’re anything like me, waiting to eat is next to impossible. If you’re not a fan of Apple Slaw, try the Root Beer Pulled Pork with Sweet Pepper Pineapple Relish or Mango Salsa.
Root Beer-Braised Pulled Pork Tortillas
Makes about 12-14 wraps
2 ½ lbs of pork tenderloin cut in 1-inch lengthwise strips, then cut into thirds – $10.00
2 Tablespoons sweet onion, minced – $0.79
1 teaspoon minced garlic – stock
12-oz bottle of Root Beer – $1.00
3 Tablespoons orange juice (or fresh-squeezed oranges) – $0.99
¼-cup Worcestershire sauce – stock
¼-cup ketchup – stock
1 Tablespoon olive oil – stock
½ teaspoon cumin – stock
Salt and pepper – stock
15 flour tortillas – $2.89
Apple Slaw (optional but highly recommended)
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $15.67
Cost per wrap: $1.12
1. Season the pork strips with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet, heat olive oil over high flame. Once the oil is very hot, quickly sear the pork strips until they start to brown but don’t cook through.
2. In a large covered sauce pan, combine the Root Beer, orange juice, ketchup, Worcestershire, onion, garlic, cumin, and browned pork. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
3. Shred the pork using two forks then return to the saucepan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste). Simmer uncovered over low heat for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. In a separate skillet over medium-high heat, warm the tortillas. I like to “toast” them to a slightly crispy golden brown for this recipe – it prevents them from getting soggy.
5. Using a slotted spoon, heap the pork into the tortillas. Add the Apple Slaw, Pepper Pineapple Relish, Mango Salsa or whatever you’re craving and enjoy!