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Mojo Pork Tacos

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, minced, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 to 12 corn tortillas, warmed


Procedures:

Cuban mojo is a tangy, pungent garlic-citrus mixture that’s often used as a marinade for pork as well as a sauce. We use it to balance the richness of tender, shredded pork in these flavorful tacos. A pressure cooker helps us keep the cooking time weeknight-appropriate. Sour Seville oranges are used in authentic mojo; to mimic their flavor, we combined regular orange juice and lime juice, as well as their zests for fragrance. Though mojo is not typically smoky or spicy, we liked the complexity that smoked paprika and chipotle chili added. For more heat, use hot smoked paprika or an additional chipotle chili. Start timing the pork once it has come to high pressure. If you prefer, instead of making tacos, serve the pork over rice with sliced oranges and avocado.

Don’t be shy when trimming the fat from the pork or the tacos will be too greasy.


In a medium bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the pork and stir to coat. Set aside.

In a 5½-liter or larger pressure cooker over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chipotles and adobo sauce. Stir in the pork, then the orange juice. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure. Adjust heat to low to stabilize pressure. Cook for 25 minutes.

Off heat, allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 20 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid and tilt it away from you to release the residual steam. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large bowl and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Use 2 forks to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, return the pressure cooker, uncovered, to medium-high and vigorously simmer the liquid, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Pour ¾ cup of the sauce over the pork, then stir in both zests. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the tortillas, passing the remaining sauce separately.

by Christopher Kimball

 
 
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