I hadn’t cooked anything new since I’ve been back from college, so when my mom told me we were trying a new recipe for dinner tonight I was thrilled. She found the recipe in The Food Network Magazine that featured Bobby Flay’s “Taco Party.” For the tacos, pork shoulder is braised in wine (hence my clever name of this dish), bacon fat, and vegetables. I love Mexican food, so I was definitely up for it.
This recipe is from The Next Food Network Star’s winner Melissa D’Arabian. Although it calls for corn tortillas, most of the crowd that tried these delicious tacos preferred flour tortillas. In addition to topping it with the Fennel Slaw, I made a queso dip. I followed Bobby Flay’s recipe but substituted extra sharp white cheddar for monterey jack cheese because that’s all we had on hand. While it tasted great, it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped since cheddar isn’t the best melting cheese (I’ll be playing with this recipe again soon).
I, along with my whole family, really enjoyed these tacos. They were a great change from the everyday chicken tacos we make. You can really play along with the recipe and the toppings as well. A cool guacamole or sour cream would be a nice and refreshing topping on these tacos, or even fresh cilantro. I will definitely be making these pork tacos again.
“Winey” Pork Tacos: adapted from Melissa D’Arabian
1/2 pound bacon
2 large onions
1 celery stalk
3 cloves of garlic
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 tablespoons EVOO
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 to 2 cups beef stock of broth
1/2 cup sour cream
12 to 16 flour tortillas, warmed
1. Crisp the bacon in a Dutch oven. Drain on paper towels. Add the onions to the drippings and cook until golden, transfer to a bowl.
2. Finely chop the carrot, celery, garlic and jalapeño. Preheat the oven to 325º.
3. Pat the pork dry. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the pork on all sides in the EVOO and drippings, transfer to a plate.
4. Add the carrot mixture to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Stir in the onions and tomato paste, cook 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes.
5. Return the crumbled bacon and pork to the pot. Squeeze in the orange juice, add the spent peel, oregano, bay leaves, and enough stock to cover the pork. Cover and transfer to the oven and let it cook for about 3 hours.
6. Transfer the pork to a bowl and shred. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the sauce and return it to the pot. Boil the sauce over high heat until thickened. Add the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.
Mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 minced jalapeño, 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano and cumin, and some fennel fronds in a large bowl. Toss with 2 thinly sliced fennel bulbs, 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 4 slicked scallions, and salt and pepper.