For an easy, casual and satisfying meal with minimal investment of time or money, I often make tacos at home. If you have an outdoor grill you can cook over fire, but all you really need is a good cast iron pan for these spicy, sizzling pork-filled beauties. Great for one or for a crowd, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, and is perfect for game day barbebque’s.
Fresh corn tortillas are so delicious, so try to source the best you can get. They’re worth the effort.
You can accomplish the rest of the cooking quickly, but first marinate the pork with fresh garlic, cumin and red chile powder. While the meat is cooking, whip up the tomatillo salsa and dice the onion and tomato for the salsa cruda. Heat the tortillas, pop a cold beer, and enjoy!
- 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, not too lean, in thin 1/2-inch strips or cubes
- Salt and pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground guajillo, ancho or other medium-hot red chile
- 1 teaspoon toasted, coarsely ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or good-quality lard
- 2 dozen small corn tortillas, ideally 4 1/2 inches, for serving
- Tomatillo salsa, for serving
- Salsa cruda, for serving
- Cilantro sprigs, for serving
- Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, chile powder and cumin, and mix well, massaging the seasoning into the meat with fingers. Let the meat marinate for at least an hour, or refrigerate overnight.
- Heat the oil in a wide cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil looks wavy, add the meat and let it sizzle, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep meat warm.
- Heat the tortillas on an ungreased hot griddle or cast iron pan. Turn them once or twice until hot and slightly puffed. As they come off the griddle, stack them on a cloth napkin to steam, with another napkin on top.
- To assemble the tacos, stack 2 hot tortillas on a plate. Spoon on a little sizzled pork, then top with a spoonful of tomatillo salsa and another of salsa cruda. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve and eat immediately.
Makes 2 cups
- 1 cup finely diced sweet white onion
- 1 cup finely diced firm tomatoes, drained
- 1 serrano chile pepper, minced (to lessen heat, remove the seeds first)
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro
- Stir together all ingredients 5 or 10 minutes before serving. (If made too far in advance, the salsa will not stay crisp.)