Sunday, April 17, 2011

Slow-cooked Pork Tacos

So if we just ignored the fact that I haven't posted a recipe since December 1, 2010, do you think anyone would notice? Yeah, me neither.
Winter is grudgingly giving way to spring, but not without a lot of fuss and some chilly nights. Why not chase to the blues away with Nature's comfort food - Mexican.
Slow-cooked Pork Tacos - From
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp Ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into ¾" chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • Peanut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 large limes
  • Corn tortillas
  • 2 avocados
  • Pickled onions (recipe to follow)
  • Cilantro


Pickled onions
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ medium beet, peeled
  • Handful cilantro
  • Cider vinegar
Slice the onion thinly and put in a glass container safe for the microwave. Add the salt, sugar, beet and cilantro. Cover everything with 1 part water to 2 parts vinegar. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for another minute. Cool, then cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
Put the cumin and coriander in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the spices for a minute or two, shaking the pan occasionally, until they're fragrant. (Be careful not to scorch them.) Grind the spices using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in both chili powders and the oregano and set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the pork well with salt and add about half of the meat to the pot. Brown well on all sides, about 4 minutes total, and transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Add more oil and brown the second batch of meat, adding it to the bowl once it's done.
Lower the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add the onion, poblano, Serrano and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant. Stir in the spice mixture and cook for another minute.
Return the meat to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated, and add the tomatoes and chicken stock. (The meat should just be covered in liquid - if not, add a little water.) Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Turn up the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer gently for an hour. Uncover the pot and continue to simmer until the pork is very tender and the sauce is reduced and thick, 20 30 to 60 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning, and squeeze another half a lime into the sauce.
To serve, heat tortillas on a dry griddle or skillet. Peel and roughly chop the avocados and sprinkle with a little lime juice to keep them from turning brown. Cut another lime into thin wedges. Fill each taco with some of the pork, cilantro, avocado, and pickled onion. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing. Don't forget the cerveza Mexicana!
Talk about getting back into the swing of things with a little verve and panache. The roomie was duly impressed. So was the cook for that matter! It's good to be back.
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food

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