The next time you are celebrating Cinco de Mayo, plan ahead and dine out. If you don’t want to deal with the crowds, stay home and order in. Do not attempt to make this wonderful dish from Mark Miller as it involves far too many steps and uses many ingredients. Yes, it will transport your senses as if you are standing in line at one of the taqueros in Puebla, but do you want to cut into your tequila shot time by cooking this yourself? I didn’t think so. But if you do, prepare yourself for a two-day exercise. It is epic. Good luck taco lovers.
From Mark Miller’s Tacos. Makes 24 tacos.
- 20 dried guajillo chilies
- 20 dried ancho chilies
- 20 dried pasilla negro chilies
- 2 ½ cups fresh orange juice
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 9 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried Mexican Oregano, toasted and ground
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons distilled vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 6 ounces cola
- 8 ounces Mexican beer
- 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 24 soft white corn tortillas
Garnish: caramelized diced pineapple
- Stem, seed and rehydrate the dried chilies in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside, reserving the soaking liquid
- In a small saucepan, simmer the orange juice over medium-low heat until reduced by half and set aside
- Using a blender, puree the rehydrated chilies until smooth, adding some of the soaking water if needed, to achieve smooth consistency
- In a large bowl, add the reduced orange juice, pureed chilies, orange zest, brown sugar, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper, vinegar, limejuice, cola and beer and stir to mix well. Add the pork, cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove the pork from the marinade and drain well. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Sauté the pork pieces until the meat is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and serve right away or keep warm in the pan until ready to serve.
- I added pineapple pieces to the pan when I began cooking the pork. This gave the pineapple a chance to caramelize and pick up the pork flavor.
- I wanted to tenderize the pork a little further so I added about 1 cup of water to the pan (see picture) and braised until the liquid evaporated. It also gave me a chance to down more tequila.
Suggested Pairing: tequila, Mexican beer, and hot sauce. Ariba!