Monday, April 14, 2014

Cuban Street Tacos

For our Mexican feast last month T made these Cuban Street Tacos. She prepped and cooked it before we got there, so the only thing we had to do was pull the pork and broil it.

pork tacos
Photo credit: T. Casey

This had such great flavor. And I loved the crispy bits so don't skip that step! I definitely ate way too many of these (we all did).

street tacos
Photo credit: T. Casey

Cuban Street Tacos
As seen on Sweet Peas Kitchen, adapted from What's Cookin' Chicago, originally adapted from Cook's Illustrated, June 2008

1 (4-pound) boneless pork butt, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 jalapeƱos, minced
1 onion, peeled and halved
juice of 1 lime
1 medium orange, halved and juice, rinds reserved
8 corn tortillas
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
2 limes, cut into wedges

Rub the pieces of pork shoulder all over with salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear pieces on all sides. Once all the pork is seared and lightly browned, remove from the pot and place in a large bowl. Pour in water and chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged spatula to release all the tasty brown bits. Add pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, bay leaves, garlic, jalapenos, onion, lime juice, orange juice and orange rinds and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add pork pieces and cover the pot and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour, take a peek and give the pot a stir to turn the meat. Put the lid back on and let it continue to bake in the oven for another hour.

After 2 hours of baking time, remove the pot from oven. Remove the bay leaves, onion and orange rinds from the pot and discard. Remove the pork and place in a large bowl; set aside. Place the pot on the stove top and let the remaining liquid come to a boil over high heat. Let it boil until it thickens up and is reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 -15 minutes.

Lower racks to near the bottom of the oven and turn oven to broil. In the bowl, pull each piece of pork in half using two forks. Pour the reduced liquid over the pork and add salt and pepper to taste; stir to combine. Place the coated pieces of pork on a wire cooling rack set on a baking sheet. Broil the meat for 5 to 8 minutes on each side until well browned. Serve immediately in warm tortillas. Garnish with red onion slices, cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese, and lime wedges.
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