“You had me at tacos.”
That’s what smart people say about Taco Tuesday, but on a Thursday. Yes, I like to keep people on their toes. It’s what I do.
Seriously though. There is no easier way to feed a group of hungry friends than by putting together a “make your own taco” bar. I mean, who doesn’t love to throw down a few (or five) street style tacos? Especially when they’re filled with slow cooked beer, jalapeño, and citrus infused shredded pork, then topped with crunchy shredded cabbage and a tangy avocado and lime crema.
Toss together a quick batch of this esquites to serve as a side dish and you’ve got yourself one hell of a fiesta.
Even if it is on a Thursday.
Beer Braised Pork Tacos with Avocado Crema
(makes 4 – 6 servings)
2 lbs pork loin ribs (boneless)
4 green onions (green parts only, rough chopped)
1 jalapeño (seeded and rough chopped)
1 seedless orange (cut into quarters)
1 (12 oz) bottle Belgian white beer (Blue Moon or Hoegaarden are good options. For gluten free, try to find Celia Saison by Ipswich Ales. I’ve heard great things!)
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
soft corn tortillas & shredded cabbage for serving
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lime (juiced)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a dutch oven, or oven-safe heavy bottom stock pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the pork until just brown, around 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate. In the same pot, saute the green onions and jalapeño until softened, then squeeze in the juice from the orange and throw the juiced orange quarters into the pot. Add the beer, chicken broth, brown sugar, tomato paste, cinnamon, cumin, white pepper and salt and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Add the pork back to the pot, cover and cook in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours.
When the pork is done, remove it from the oven and transfer the pork to a large bowl. Strain the braising liquid over a bowl (toss the aromatics) and transfer the liquid back to the original pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat and cook to reduce and slightly thicken (around 15 minutes.) While the liquid is simmering, gently shred the cooked pork with two forks. Remove the thickened sauce from the heat, add the shredded pork to the pot, and stir to coat.
To make the avocado crema, scoop the avocado into the bowl of a food processor and add the sour cream and lime juice. Pulse to blend until smooth and free of lumps, then add the cilantro.
Pulse to combine, then salt to taste.
To serve, warm your corn tortillas in a very hot skillet, then hand one to each of your friends and tell them to fill ’em up with a good portion of the braised pork, top with shredded cabbage and a scoop of avocado crema.
Turn on some music and bust out a piñata. Yup. Ain’t no party like a Taco Tuesday, but on a Thursday Party.
OMFG. SO GOOD.