Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Habanero Pork Shoulder Soft Taco

A freezer dive resulted in a small piece of pork shoulder undoubtedly trimmed from a larger whole some time ago.  What to do?  Tacos was Chris' choice.  Yes, yes, and blessed with a sunny day, tacos it is.
Now, a few options came to mind.  In the past, I've braised pork with tomatoes, habanero, chicken broth and finished with a little sour cream.  I had a little stash of pork juices from a party I cooked for over the weekend that would have been fabulous for braising.  It was tempting, but in the end, it felt like a grilling day.
The marinade, was quite awesome, I must say.  
Juice of 1 juice orange
Juice of 1 lime
A small handful of fresh cilantro
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 small sweet onion, diced, and sauteed brown
2 garlic clove, minced and sauteed with the onions
1 tsp kosher salt
several turns of the pepper grinder
1 Habanero pepper, seeds and stem removed


A note on the onions and garlic.  I quick fried them on higher heat to attain a browned, charred coating to give it a little smoky flavor.  Put all of the marinade ingredients, except the habanero, into a blender to liquify.  I sliced the pork into 1/3" thick pieces.  Place the pork and the marinade into a zip lock bag for several hours.  For my gals, I separated the pork into 2 packets and put a part of the marinade into one with their portion of pork and then added the habanero into the blender with the remainder of the marinade for our pork.  Chris grilled the pork to perfection.


I sauteed some fresh chard with hazelnuts and garlic in a little olive oil to go with the pork.  Then made a simple guac with avocado, lime juice, minced scallion, garlic and salt and pepper.  I served the pork on a soft heated flour tortilla with the swiss chard, guac, salsa, fresh cilantro and freshly grated cojito.  A hit!  The chard with the hazelnuts gave the pork a new twist.  Maggie picked out all of the flavors of the marinade.  She is developing quite the palate.  This is a keeper.

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