Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pork and black bean tacos

I had about 5 oz. of boneless pork country rib meat left over from another application. I’d been thinking about making gorditas (Mexican sandwiches. When I finished cooking the cubes of pork I turned it into, I had one basic problem. I feared that if I kept reducing the liquid in the pan it might intensify its spiciness to far. Then the 5 watt bulb went off in my head. Sandy had given me some of her prepared-from-scratch black beans. I did the step below of adding them to the pork. After they were mashed and simmered for a bit, the liquid thickened perfectly and the beans add a depth of flavor I didn’t even know was missing.

Please bear in mind that I brine all pork before cooking. I’ve posted about that and won’t do so again here. After brining and then rinsing I do not add more salt.

Now, about the gorditas. I have masa (corn flour) in the pantry. I tried making gorditas quite a while ago. Tried again this time – with not great results. So forget about that and just make tacos with this filling.

For the pork::
1 dried pasilla pepper
1 dried Mexican red chili pepper
5 oz. lean boneless pork, cut into 1” cubes
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup cooked black beans (2/3 of a 14-15 oz. can, rinsed)
Store-bought corn or flour tortillas
Chopped lettuce (any kind)
Grated cheese

Chopped tomato (optional)
Avocado (optional)

Remove the seeds and stems from the peppers and soak them in just enough hot tap water to cover for 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree them.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork. Brown slightly (about 5 minutes), stirring every minute or so then reduce heat to medium. Add pureed peppers with their liquid and the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the pork is tender (about 10 minutes).

Push the pork to the side of the pan. Add the beans and mash with a potato masher. Stir and bring back to a low simmer. The beans will thicken the dish in about 10 minutes. If there is too little liquid when you get to this step, add a bit more chicken stock.

To assemble:
Heat a griddle. Spray tortillas very lightly with cooking spray. When the griddle is hot, toss on the tortillas for just 1 minute per side.

Transfer to cutting board. Stuff with lettuce, cheese, pork, and avocado and tomato (if using). That’s all there is to it.

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