For those of you that may not know me, September is my absolute favorite month. And not just because it's my birth month. The month of September is also a pretty big deal here in Mexico because it's Mes Patrio (Patriotic month). In my small town we celebrate the entire month of September with a big county fair that we call Las Fiestas. The celebration is separated into two parts. The first half of the month we celebrate Las Fiestas Patrias in honor of Dia de la Independencia (Mexican Independence Day). The second half of September is dedicated to Las Fiestas Patronales, which is a big religious celebration in honor of our town's patron saint.
Here at La Cocina de Leslie we will also be celebrating! What better way to kick off this month long celebration than with a delicious recipe for saucy pork tacos...Dallas Gas Station Style.
The recipe for these tacos is from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain, who also has a blog by the same name. An elite group bloggers, myself included, have received or will be receiving an advanced copy of the book and will be participating in a Spotlight/Cook-off for the next couple of weeks hosted by my good friend, Girlichef. (Click here for details and the complete list of bloggers participating in the Spotlight/Cook-Off.)
Now, about the recipe. I'm usually pretty good about following recipe to a "T", but this wasn't one of those times. The recipe calls for the meat to be marinated for at least 8 hours before cooking, but I was worried that the meat wouldn't be tender enough. So, I treated this recipe as if it were a Chilito de Carne de Puerco and cooked the meat before adding the marinade/adobo sauce. I also added some of the spices to the cooking water to enhance the flavor of the meat.
As for the adobo sauce, it was pretty easy to put together. Instead of using pasilla chilies, I used dried ancho chilies (my favorite). And because I misplaced my bottle of white vinegar somewhere in the process, I substituted it with a little vinagre from my canned jalapeños.
Ay. Dios. Mio!!! These Pork Tacos were absolutely delicious and flavorful. The taste was very similar to Tacos de Adobada or Tacos al Pastor. In fact, next time I make these, I'm going to add a small can of crushed pineapple to the pork filling. Mmm-mmmm! Estan pa' chuparse los dedos! (Finger lickin' good!)
Pork Tacos - Dallas Gas Station Style
(adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain)
- 2 pounds pork shoulder (lomo de cerdo), cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic
- Cloves (clavos de olor) or ground cloves
- Cumin seeds or ground cumin
- 4 dried Ancho Chilies
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup orange juice (I used tangerine)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar or vinagre de jalapeño
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons lard (manteca) or vegetable oil
- Corn Tortillas
- Red Onion, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Cilantro, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Lime Wedges (for garnish)
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the pork shoulder with two of the garlic cloves, 2 or 3 cloves and a pinch of cumin seeds; season with salt. Fill the saucepan with just enough water to cover the meat. Cover and bring the meat to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer about 90 minutes or until the pork meat is tender.
|I suggest cutting the meat BEFORE cooking, but I was pressed for time.|
While the meat is cooking, toast the ancho chilies in a small skillet or directly over an open flame for just a few seconds.
Cover the chilies in the skillet or a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let the chilies soak for about 15 minutes.
Remove the seeds and stems from the chilies. (You can do this before rehydrating, but I think it's easier afterwards.) Puree the ancho chilies in a blender with the chipotle pepper, the remaining 2 cloves of garlic, a pinch of cumin seeds, the orange juice and pineapple juice, white vinager and ground oregano until smooth; set aside.
Once the meat has cooked, remove from heat and drain completely. Heat the 2 tablespoons of lard in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork meat and cook until lightly browned. Pour in the adobo/marinade sauce; season with salt.
Cover the skillet and reduce heat to low. Let simmer until most of the liquid has absorbed.
To serve, warm corn tortillas on a comal or griddle, until soft and pliable. Spoon a couple tablespoonfuls of the pork filling into the center of each tortilla. Top with chopped red onion, cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice. Enjoy!!!
*This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*