Saturday, July 1, 2023

Rosie Makes Pork Tacos.



 Whenever I shop at Food Lion, I'm always looking for bargains, particularly in the meat department.  Recently, I found pork loins for $1.49/lb, so I came home with a couple loins, one to eat now and one to freeze for later.  I'm sorta in a taco mood, so I'm going to cube the meat, sear it, then stew it until it's nice and tender.  After that, it's going into a fried tortilla shell (maybe puffy maybe not) with all the fixin's - salsa, onion, jalapeño, shredded lettuce, garden-fresh cilantro with the raw seeds. My cilantro is going to seed now (coriander) and the raw, green seeds are a treat.  They have an intense cilantro flavor with a citrusy punch.  Gotta grow your own to experience this.

Pork Tacos

 boneless pork loin, about 2 1/2 pounds, trimmed and cubed
4 limes
 1 quart beef stock
1 cup orange juice
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 TB oregano

Trim fat off pork loin.  Cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
Working in batches, sear cubes in hot peanut oil 375° - 400° until brown on all sides.  Remove batch from pan, let oil come back up to temperature, and continue with next batch.
After all pork cubes are seared, lower temperature, return all to pan and pour in beef stock, scraping up the goody bits on the bottom (where the flavor is).  Add in juice of 4 limes and the cup of orange juice.  And I just threw in the whole limes for good measure.  (I had OJ out of the bottle, but you could, of course, use fresh and throw in the squeezed oranges.)
Low simmer. After an hour, toss in the garlic, onion, pepper, and spices.  Continue simmering for another 1/2 hour or so.  Until pork is fork tender. You can't overcook this.  It will only get more tender and the flavors more concentrated.

In a hot skillet over high heat, heat up peanut oil to 400°.  Place flour tortilla in hot oil and fry both sides until golden.  You can make puffy tacos, frying the tortillas in very hot oil and letting them puff up like a balloon, or you can use your tongs, flatten them out, and bend them into a taco shape while frying.  I hang them over the rack in a warm oven to keep their taco shape.

Remove limes and oranges from pot.

Fill taco with pork mixture.
Top with salsa, chopped onion, sliced jalapeños, and chopped cilantro.  I have my own cilantro growing in the garden, and it's going to flower and setting seeds now.  Use those raw green coriander seeds.  Intense cilantro flavor with a citrusy pop.

While the pork was stewing, I made a cornbread in my iron skillet.  Use your favorite cornbread recipe, pour into a hot iron skillet, and let it cook a few minutes on a burner before going into the oven.  Also, I topped my cornbread with sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced jalapeños, a sprinkling of cumin, and grated cheddar cheese before baking.

Here's my boneless pork loin.

Trim off the fat.

Cube it.

Hothothot pan.
Sear all sides.

Work in batches.

Nicely browned.

All cubes
back in pot.
Add beef stock.

 Add lime juice.
Throw in limes.

Orange juice.
Simmer for 90 minutes.
Until super tender.
I served the pork on a fried tortilla shell with a side of cornbread to sop up the juice.

If you like, you could add a can of corn to the pot, maybe even a small can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies, and have yourself a nice soup. 
Most excellent! 

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