Weekend Cooking

Pork Cheek Tacos With Avocado Tomatillo Salsa & Pico De Gallo From Chef Arturo Quesada

October  6, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Encanto Restaurant & Bar
  • Prep time 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

To learn more about how Chef Arturo Quesada makes tacos at Encanto Restaurant & Bar, listen to our podcast, Play Me a Recipe. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
  • 1/2 large ripe California Avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 2 tomatillos, peeled
  • 2 green onions, trimmed
  • 1 serrano pepper, de-stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about ½ lime)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Pico de Gallo
  • 1 pint pint fresh Roma tomatoes (about 6), medium diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, small diced
  • 1 small red onion, small diced
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Tacos
  • 2 pounds Pork Cheek or Pork Shoulder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon bay leaf powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 chiles moritas
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • Corn tortillas
  1. Make the avocado tomatillo salsa: Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on medium-high until thoroughly combined into a thick salsa. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Make the pico de gallo: Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Taste, then season as desired.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the onions and cook 7 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Season the pork with salt, fennel, bay leaf powder, and coriander. Using the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil until shimmering. Sear the pork, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned on all sides.
  5. In a blender, blend chiles, chicken stock, and garlic cloves together. Transfer the mixture to a large pot; add the caramelized onions and seared pork. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 hours, or until the liquid is slightly reduced and the pork is tender and slightly falling apart.
  6. Top your corn tortillas with the pork and caramelized onions, avocado-tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, and (optional) pickled red onions.

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