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Pork Tacos with Roasted Corn, Pico de Gallo & Spanish Rice Recipes

This year for Jeremy’s birthday and then again for my dad on Father’s Day, I made pork tacos with three delicious sides – smoky southwestern corn, pico de gallo and Spanish rice. I got my pork from Rare Cuts, of course.  And both times I used Creole tomatoes for my pico de gallo.  All four dishes came out great both times.  I was very pleased.  So of course I’d like to share them with you.  

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A few more words about Rare Cuts first.  I really like using them as my primary meat source.  All of the meat I have purchased is of high quality and sourced from some of the best meat purveyors in country.  They can get pretty much anything you want and are happy to customize cuts for you and help with preparation ideas.  I’ve worked with David, the manager of the Uptown location, on a few occasions/orders now and he’s great.  I highly recommend them for your meat needs.

And a note on Creole tomatoes.  If you don’t live in or come to visit south Louisiana, you’re out of luck.   These luscious beauties are only grown in south Louisiana and are a wonderful summertime treat for those of us fortunate enough to live here.  Apparently there’s something about our soil down here that makes it the only soil hospitable to these rare treasures.  Some grocery stores sell them but you’re much better off finding them at a farmer’s market or a road-side produce stand like those found on Hwy. 90 between bayou Lafourche and Paradis.  This area is only a 25 minute drive from the heart of NOLA and worth the visit because boats of Creoles are only $5 – roughly 15 tomatoes. This blog post provides a great perspective on the Creole tomato.

Back to the task/recipes at hand.  This meal takes up to 7 hours to prepare due to the pork cooking time.  Otherwise, depending on your knife skills, the rest could take up to a couple of hours.  It’s a time investment but so worth it.  I start by making my Mexican spice rub for the pork.  The recipe is below the pork recipe.  These are the same ingredients you’d use making tacos or any other type of Mexican spice mix.  It keeps well in a tightly sealed container.

Yield: 16 tacos + leftover ingredients

Pork Tacos with Roasted Corn, Pico de Gallo & Spanish Rice Recipes

Ingredients:

Roasted Pork:
4 pound boston butt pork roast (bone in, preferably)
Mexican Spice Rub - to taste
8 ounces beer - preferably an amber lager like Abita Amber
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup green bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic

Mexican Spice Rub for Pork:

1 tablespoon teaspoon kosher salt, garlic powder
1 teaspoon each turmeric, celery salt, cumin, chipotle chili pepper powder, onion powder
1/2 teaspoon each oregano, cayenne, allspice, Hungarian paprika
** This recipe makes more than you will need but this is a great spice mix for tacos and any other Mexican cuisine items

Pico de Gallo:
8 cups chopped Roma or Creole tomatoes
2 cups diced red onion
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 limes, juice and zest
4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon Slap Ya Momma seasoning

Smoky Southwest Corn:

1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 ears corn, cut off cob
2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo, minced (seeds removed)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 limes, zest and juice
Salt and cayenne, to taste

Spanish Rice:

1 cup white rice, rinsed very well
1 can Rotel tomatoes (do not drain)
1 cup water
1 cup diced celery and red onion - sauteed first
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
Kosher salt, to taste

Method:

Roasted Pork Method: I prefer to use my crockpot for cooking this and all roasts but you can cook this any way you'd normally do a pork roast.  I started by trimming the roast of excessive outside fat and then rubbing it generously with the Mexican spice rub (recipe below). Next step is to sear the pork in a skillet so that the outside is caramelized and delicious. Also, I recommend sautéing veggies beforehand and then adding to the crockpot along with the beer.  Cook the pork 4 hours on high; 3 hours low.  Crockpot cookery can be very forgiving so if you find settings that works best for your needs, go for it.  This is just the combo I used for this particular roast.

Pico de Gallo Method: After cutting up all ingredients, combine and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all flavors to marry.  As with most of my recipes, this one is very forgiving and can be changed to suit your taste.

Smoky Southwestern Corn Method: Heat oil in large skillet and sauté red onion and celery for 3-5 minutes till softened.  Add in garlic and cook a little more till garlic starts to soften as well.  Make sure to add in salt and cayenne at this point. Add in the corn and cook until it's cooked to your liking.  This could take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how soft you want the corn.  Once the corn is where you want it, that's all the cooking needed.  Pull the mixture off the heat and add in the adobo, cilantro, and lime.  Stir well, adjust salt if needed and serve.

Spanish Rice Method: This recipe is so easy because I cook it in a rice cooker.  Be sure to rinse your rice very well so that excess starch is removed.  For celery and onions, if I'm making this with the corn recipe, I just cook down my celery and red onion with those veggies and then pull them out for the rice.  Add all ingredients to the rice cooker, stir well and set to cook.  Typically takes about 20 minutes or so, just like regular rice.

Assembling the Tacos: I like to use corn tortillas but you use regular hard shell tacos or flour tortillas if you like.  I start with the pork as the base, add on the rice, then corn and top with pico de gallo and some shredded cheese.  Last time we used Jalapeno Monterrey Jack and we've also used Roth Kase Jalapeno Havarti.  Any spicy creamy cheese will do.

Total:7 hours

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