Yucatan Pork Tacos
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, BorderGrill.com.
One of the most popular entrées at our Border Grill restaurants, this delicious Yucatan-style pork, also know as Cochinita Pibil, translated nicely into a signature taco on our Border Grill Truck. Featuring slow-roasted pork marinated in achiote, citrus and cinnamon, paired with orange salsa, pickled onions and handmade corn tortillas, it's a knockout flavor combination that can't be beat.
Servings: Serves 8–10
Ingredients
  • 4 supremed* oranges
  • 1 medium peeled and diced jicama
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. roughly chopped cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic , sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 beet , trimmed, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup achiote paste
  • 10 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 juiced limes
  • 8 crumbled bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds pork butt , cut in 3-inch cubes
  • 2 white onions , sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 5 Roma tomatoes , sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 pound banana leaves , softened over low flame or aluminum foil
  • 4 Anaheim chilies , roasted, peeled, seeded* and sliced into strips
  • 16 to 20 small warm corn tortillas , for serving
  • 1 1/4 cups warm refried black beans , for serving
  • Guacamole , for serving (optional)
Directions
To make orange jicama slaw: Combine ingredients and let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 3 cups.

*To supreme an orange: Cut away the top and bottom of the orange and set it on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife cutting from top to bottom, remove the peel and membrane on the surface of the orange. Remove each segment of orange without any of the membrane by using your knife to slice down on each side of each segment to free it from the membrane.

To make pickled red onions: Place the onions in a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Strain and set the onions aside. Makes 5 1/2 cups.

Combine all the remaining ingredients in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Add the blanched onions and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a container, cover and refrigerate at least a day before serving. Pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator up to a month.

To make tacos: In a medium bowl, mash together the achiote paste, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, bay leaves, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper with a fork. Add the pork, toss to evenly coat, and marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300°.

Heat a large, dry cast-iron skillet over high heat. Char the onion until blackened on both sides. Then, char the tomatoes on both sides. Reserve.

Line a large baking dish with one layer of the banana leaves or foil. Arrange the pork in an even layer and top with the onions, tomatoes, chilies and all the marinade. Cover with more banana leaves and wrap the dish tightly in foil.

Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the pork is tender and moist. Remove from oven, let sit 10 minutes, and then unwrap. Using two forks, shred pork into bite-size pieces. Place warm tortillas on a work surface and top with a layer of black beans. Add shredded pork and top with guacamole (if using), orange jicama slaw and pickled red onions. Serve immediately.

* Fresh chilies can be roasted over a gas flame or under the broiler. Keep turning so skin is evenly charred, without burning the flesh. Transfer charred chilies to a closed plastic bag and steam 10 to 15 minutes. Pull off charred skin by hand and dip briefly in water to remove blackened bits. Once peeled, cut away stems, seeds and veins.

Copyright © 2010, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, BorderGrill.com.
FROM: The Hottest Tickets on Earth, Plus Superstar Garth Brooks
Published on November 24, 2010

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