Cast Iron

Chile Braised Pork Tacos with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

February  8, 2017
4 Ratings
Photo by CravingsandCrumbs
  • Makes about 10 large tacos
Author Notes

These tacos are filled with juicy and tender shredded pork flavored with a trio of chiles. They're topped with a bright avocado tomatillo salsa. Since all the ingredients in the salsa are raw it has a simple, almost grassy flavor that complements the rich pork. The salsa is adapted from Rick Bayless. —CravingsandCrumbs

What You'll Need
  • Meat
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 dried guajillo chile
  • 2 chipotles in adobo
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 9 smallish garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder/country style ribs
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • Salsa
  • 8 ounces tomatillos (about 5)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 small diced yellow onion
  • salt to taste
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and remove from heat. Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles and roughly tear them (this will help when blending later). Add dried chiles to hot water and allow to soak for about 20 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion and peel the garlic cloves. Sautee the onion and whole garlic cloves with about 1 T oil over medium heat until slightly softened and edges are beginning to brown.
  3. Add softened chiles, chipotles, onions and garlic to a blender with 2 t. kosher salt and enough of the chile infused water to barely cover. Blend thoroughly, about 20 seconds.
  4. Dry pork with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a hot pan or electric pressure cooker set on saute with 1-2 T vegetable oil, brown meat, then remove from pan to a plate. Add vinegar and lime juice to deglaze the pan, then add meat and any juices on the plate back into the pot, followed by the chile puree and the bay leaf. Using tongs, turn pork pieces to coat with the puree. Add another teaspoon kosher salt.
  5. At this point you have three options for how to cook the meat. 1) electric pressure cooker on high for 33 minutes followed by 15 minutes natural release, 2) slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours, 3) dutch oven covered in a 375 degree oven for 1.5-2 hours.
  6. Once the meat is very tender, remove to a bowl and shred using two forks. Leave the sauce on to reduce while you’re shredding. In an electric pressure cooker this means turning it back to the saute function. With a slow cooker you should pour the sauce into a saucepan and reduce over medium-low heat with the lid off. In a dutch oven you should do the same, using the same pot you cooked everything in.
  7. Add meat back into sauce and stir to further shred the meat and coat it in the chile sauce. Reduce further if you feel it is necessary. Don’t worry about continuing to cook it, you would have to try very hard to make the meat dry at this point.
  8. For the salsa combine all ingredients except the diced onion to a blender and blend. Pour into a bowl or storage container and stir in onion. Really...that's it!
  9. For the tacos warmtortilla in a comal, cast iron pan, or directly over a low flame until it has a few char marks. Top with some of the shredded meat and salsa. Other optional toppings include shredded cabbage, diced onion and cilantro.

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