Rosie Birkett’s Mexican Pork Tacos With Pink Pickled Onion

Rosie Birkett's Mexican Pork Tacos With Pink Pickled Onion

Here, pork is served with tacos, black beans and pink pickled onions to create a total flavour bomb

For the marinade:
• 40g achiote/annatto paste or a blend of 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns and 1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
• 1/2 tablespoon salt
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 white onion, roughly chopped
• 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, (do not use if using achiote/ annatto paste)
• 2 pink grapefruits, zested and juiced
• 1 lime, juiced

For the pork:
• 1kg boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 3 cm chunks
• 1 white onion, finely sliced
• 20g butter
• 2 whole fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped or 1 scotch bonnet, deseeded and finely chopped

For the pink pickled onion:
• 1 small red onion, finely sliced
• 3 black peppercorns
• 1 clove
• 1 teaspoon caster sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 limes, juiced

For the guacamole:
• 1 tomato, finely chopped
• 2 ripe avocados, stoned and chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
• salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• 15g coriander, leaves and stems chopped, and some leaves reserved for garnish
• 1/2 lime, juiced

For the tortillas:
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 6 corn or flour tortillas

To serve:
• 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and finely sliced
• 1 portion Cumin + garlic black beans

1 First, make the marinade. Place the achiote/annatto paste (or spice blend), salt, garlic and bay leaf in a food processor and blitz until the garlic is crushed. Add the oil and onion and blend to a chunky paste, and then the vinegar (if using), zest and citrus juices and blend to make a smooth paste.
2 Place the pork in a large bowl, and pour over the marinade. Coat the pork thoroughly, rubbing the marinade in with your hands. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Remove from the oven at least 1 hour before cooking to bring to room temperature.
3 Preheat the oven to 150°C.
4 Put the pork and its marinade in an ovenproof casserole or high-sided baking tray, top with the sliced onion, butter and chillies and cover it tightly with foil. Place the dish in the centre of the oven and cook for about 3 hours, until the pork is so tender that it falls apart when you prod it with a fork.
5 While it is cooking make the pink pickled onion. Place the sliced onion in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Add the spices, sugar, salt and lime juice, and stir to combine.
6 Leave to sit for 1 hour or so, until the onion has turned bright pink. When you’re ready to serve, drain on some kitchen paper, to get rid of the brine.
7 For the guacamole, put the tomato, avocado, garlic and onion in a bowl and mash together with a fork. Season with sea salt and pepper, then add the chilli, coriander and lime juice and incorporate.
8 Taste for seasoning and garnish with coriander leaves.
For the tortillas, brush a frying pan with the oil and heat until stinking hot. One at a time, toast each tortilla for about 15 seconds (flipping them over to toast both sides), until warm and soft. Serve in a pile.
9 Use 2 forks to pull the pork apart and place it in a bowl in the middle of the table with the warm juices spooned over.
10 Serve with the tortillas and bowls of shredded iceberg lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, cumin and garlic black beans and pink pickled onions scattered on top.

Recipe courtesy of Rosie Birkett, extracted from A Lot on Her Plate


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