Juicy shredded pork that had been seasoned with a Creole seasoning and slow-cooked with onions and peppers served in a warm tortilla and topped with a homemade remoulade sauce and coleslaw. These Creole Pork Tacos with Remoulade Sauce will take Taco Tuesday to the next level!
New Orleans was founded in 1718 as a trading post for France by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville. As the community grew, they organized the city in a fortified rectangular grid of streets – the Veaux Carre. The streets that went through the French Quarter were named for French royalty and nobility.
During the time of the French rule, the French shipped in slaves from territories in Western Africa. The slaves cooked the French foods the best they could use the “new” indigenous foods of the region. This started a change in the food culture of the region.
The French ceded New Orleans to the Spanish Empire in 1764 following their defeat in the French Indian War. The Treaty of Paris stated that since the Spanish lost Florida to the British, they would gain this region as compensation. During this Spanish reign of the city, the Veaux Carre suffered two massive fires that nearly wiped out the city. The buildings had to be rebuilt, so instead of the old wooden French Colonial structures, they were rebuilt using brick. These are the buildings you see now in the French Quarter, including St. Louis Cathedral, which is the oldest continually operating cathedral in the United States.
The Spanish held New Orleans for nearly 40 years. They add some influence to the already French population that lived there plus the first generation of the mixed cultures – the Creoles. The Creoles were a mix of the French, African, Native Americans and Spanish that lived in New Orleans.
The look of the French Quarter is attributed to the Spanish, they brought tomatoes and peppers to what was an ever-evolving cuisine. Paella, a Spanish rice dish, merged with ham, sausage and other local ingredients creating the jambalaya. The name is even a combination of the two cultures, the French word for ham is jambon, à la, “ya”, which is how the ending of paella is pronounced – and you have jamb-à-la-ya – jambalaya!
Through the latter parts of the 1700′s, more and more immigrants arrived in New Orleans adding to the already diverse culture. This impact, including the Haitian refugees who are said to have brought the creation of red beans and rice with them, further added to what was considered creole food.
In 1795, the Spanish gave the United States the right to use New Orleans as a port. Then in 1800, the Spanish and French signed a Peace Treaty. In the Treaty, the Spanish gave Louisiana back to France. In the agreement, the Spanish would continue to control New Orleans until France sent someone to govern the area. France sent someone in 1803, then sold New Orleans as part of the Louisiana Purchase which gave New Orleans to the United States.
Immigration was huge throughout the 1800′s. As more and more cultures arrived, they added more and more to the Creole cuisine – more ingredients, cooking techniques, and recipes. The food was changing and adapting as the years went on, and constantly being influenced.
That’s one of the greatest things about New Orleans, everything stays the same, yet it still adapts to new things. The old ways will always still be there and will always still be the way, but, it can be refreshed and carried on for hundreds of more years and people will always flock there wanting to see this truly diverse American city.
And just as the people and cultures influenced each other in New Orleans over the three hundred plus years, I was influenced by the city, the people, the culture, the music and especially the food while here in Michigan. The Creole cuisine was built on the ability to adopt, adapt and improve, and it has done all of that for me. This way of thinking has allowed me to discover so many new things, and one of them is the ability to create some great Creole-inspired foods. Through experimenting, I created some fairly unique recipes with a Creole influence.
I’ve posted my Creole Apple Chops and the Sweet & Spicy Skillet Peach Chicken in the past (with the recipes coming soon). My newest recipe that has been influenced by this Creole mindset is my Creole Pork Tacos with Remoulade Sauce. It’s Creole seasoned shredded pork, a remoulade sauce, and coleslaw wrapped in a warmed soft tortilla.
I’m not saying that three hundred years ago in French-occupied New Orleans when that first pot of gumbo was cooked, that that pot of gumbo influenced this Creole Pork Taco… but ultimately it did. And it still inspires a lot more.
The Creole and New Orleans culture stretch out way past those original grid streets in the old Veaux Carre. It probably reaches out to you, as well.
Let me know the New Orleans culture has inspired you in the comment section below. Let me know what you think of this recipe, as well. If you make it, be sure to tag me on it so I can see the picture.
Once the cooking time has finished, remove the pork loin from the slow cooker. Place the pork loin in a big enough bowl to hold it; using two forks, shred the meat. While shredding the meat, I add a few tablespoons of the juices from the slow cooker.
To serve, place 1/2 cup of the shredded pork loin in a warmed soft taco. Add slices of the onions and peppers from the slow cooker to the taco, then drizzle some of the Remoulade Sauce over the pork. Top with a tablespoon or two of the coleslaw.
Place the sliced veggies in the bottom of a slow cooker along with garlic and a bay leaf.
Season the pork loin with Creole Seasoning and ground thyme; set it on top of the vegetables.
Let the pork loin cook for 8-10 hours.
Shred the pork loin and add in some of the leftover juices from the slow cooker.
Place a good amount of the shredded pork inside of a warmed tortilla. Add some sliced of the onions and peppers from the slow cooker. Drizzle the Remoulade sauce on top of the pork, then top with coleslaw.
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