Cant decide between Mexican and barbecue for dinner?
Choose both with this innovative recipe from Edwin Fluevog, a student chef in the Johnson County Community College hospitality management program.
He loves tacos, and has long experimented with making his own barbecue sauces. So it made sense to him to combine the two in one tasty dish. Id seen shredded pork done in tacos, he says. I wanted to make it more of a full dish.
Its perfect for any big game day, he says, and the barbecue sauce on the pork puts it right up there with burgers on the favorites list. The flavors arent heavy, but theyre not faint, either, he says. Theyre just fun.
The acidity of the cola in the braising sauce works with the slow cooking to make the pork fork tender and easy to pick apart for the tacos.
Making small slits in the roast and rubbing the garlic paste into the slits helps flavor penetrate the roast, and also lets the liquid enter the meat during cooking, allowing the flavors to go all the way through.
Be sure to wear gloves when youre seeding the jalapeños for the barbecue sauce and salsa, much of the heat is in the seeds and ribs. And remove the gloves before you touch your face or eyes.
When youre making the salsa, its a good idea to add the apples at the last minute to keep them from turning brown.
BARBECUE PORK TACOS
Makes 8 servings
1 (4-pound) pork roast
3 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced rosemary
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups beef stock
1 (12-ounce) can cola
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon oil
1 sweet onion, peeled, diced small
2 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, stems removed, halved
1 bell pepper, halved, seeded and stems removed, roughly chopped
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded
3/4 to 1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 or 6 tablespoons honey
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tomatoes, seeded, diced small
1 onion, peeled, diced small
1 or 2 apples, washed, diced small, and kept in water until combined with other ingredients
1 jalapeño, seeded, diced small
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 lime, zested and juiced
Cilantro to taste, chopped
Salt and pepper
For the pork: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Season all sides of the pork with 2 teaspoons of the salt and pepper. Combine the rest of the salt with minced garlic and rosemary on a cutting board; using the side of a knife, mash and create a paste. Make small slits in the roast; rub with garlic paste.
Heat Dutch oven or other oven-safe pan over medium heat; add oil. Sear all the sides of the pork to a nice brown, add the stock and cola, then bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the pork bits. Add tomato paste and stir. Liquid should be roughly halfway up the sides of the roast. Cover pan; place in the oven. Cook about 3 1/2 hours or until pork is tender enough to pick apart, making sure to turn the meat every hour and adding more water if needed to keep up the liquid level halfway up the sides. Remove roast from oven; cool until meat can be handled; pick apart and set aside.
For the sauce: While pork cools, heat oil in large pan. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent. Add remaining braising liquid from roast, tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeños, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard seed, ginger and cinnamon. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Add salt, pepper and honey to finish.
For the tortillas: While sauce is simmering, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 to 12 times, adding a little flour or water if needed to achieve a smooth dough. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into eight portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7-inch circle. Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, add tortillas and cook over medium heat, one at a time, for one minute on each side or until lightly browned. Keep warm
For the salsa: While dough is resting, combine tomatoes, onion, apple and jalapeño with zest and juice of lemon and lime. Finish with cilantro, salt, and pepper.
To serve: Add picked pork to barbecue sauce in pan and reheat. Spoon pork into tortillas; serve with salsa on the side.
Recipe and food styling by Edwin Fluevog, 22, a third semester student in the JCCC hospitality management program. He is an apprentice at Room 39 in Leawood.