Try this Pork Chipotle Taco with charred green peppers, homemade Masa tortillas and a fresh cabbage and lime salad.
Ok it’s time to make a really great Pork Chipotle Taco, this one is a first in many ways for me. I have been digging a bit deeper in the world of tacos lately and have invested both some time and money to take what I think is one of the best things you can eat to the next level. That means new types of meats and vegetables, home made tortillas and an effort to step away from the stuff I usually put on my tacos.
It does not mean that I’m reinventing things either, some of these toppings are not unusual, just new for me. But you can consider this a heads up because there will be coming more posts about tacos here at Ateriet in the near future, but let’s start with this pork chipotle taco.
Since this recipe will include how to make tortillas and all the stuff I put on it will be a bit longer. So I wrote down the recipe for the taco first and then the individual recipes follows underneath. I will also post each recipe as an individual post in the future so it will be easier to revisit if you just want to make one of the parts of the taco.
So let’s start with the taco.
Pork Chipotle Taco with Charred Green Peppers
This is just a description for making just one taco, now I know nobody eats just one taco, least of all me but this way it is easier to know how much to use for one and then you can make how many you want.
1 blue corn tortilla
1 tbsp chipotle mayonnaise
3 tbsp cabbage lime salad
2 slices fried salty pork
1 tsp chipotle sauce (store bought)
2 small charred green peppers
Make sure the tortilla is warm, since I made these myself I kept them warm by placing them under a kitchen towel after I cooked it. Add a spoonful of chipotle mayonnaise and spread across the taco. Then add the cabbage lime salad. Top the salad with the fried pork. Brush a teaspoon of chipotle sauce on top of the pork. Top the taco with the charred green peppers. Eat.
So that is how you assemble the pork chipotle taco, now let’s take a closer look on each part of the taco. I’ll start from the top and move my way down the list.
Homemade corn tortillas
So let’s start with one of the most important things, a home made tortilla. I’ve been eating tacos for more or less my entire adult life and most have been with store bought wheat tortillas. Nothing really wrong with those, sometimes you don’t have the time or energy to make everything from scratch. At times like that it is great to be able to buy tortillas.
But since I’m now taking the tacos more serious I had to make my own, that means masa corn tortillas.
Masa Harina is what you’re looking for, here in Sweden it’s not easy to find so I had to get mine online (thank you Internet). Masa Harina is dried corn which has been soaked and cooked in alkaline water to make the corn loosen up and be able to grind it into a flour. To help make it alkaline limestone or ash is used.
I’ve read through a number of recipes for how to make the tortillas and sometimes you see recipes that suggest that lime juice should be put in the dough. I’m guessing this is a misunderstanding from the treatment with limestone in the process of making the Masa Harina. Most recipes only call for water and Masa Harina, I think that lacks some salt so I added a pinch of salt to my dough. Personally this makes it much better. Now let’s make some dough.
Makes about 10-14 tortillas
3 dl / 1.25 cups Masa Harina (blue or white)
2,5 dl / 1 cup water
1 tsp salt
In this recipe I use blue corn tortillas but this recipe works for both, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the white and blue when it comes to the dough. The taste is different on the other hand. I prefer the blue ones this far but both taste great and is a big step up if you are used to wheat tortillas.
Simply combine the ingredients and knead it into a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic film or put it into a plastic bag and leave to rest for at least two hours. This step to rest the dough is apparently very important. But I haven’t tried to cook the tortillas right away myself so I’m not sure how important it really is. But another good thing is that you can keep the dough for a few days in the fridge once it’s done. So you can prepare this ahead of time if you want to.
Once the dough has rested take a piece of dough and roll it into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Then you can either press it into a tortilla using a tortilla press or roll it with a rolling pin. To do this you need some thick plastic. Without it the dough easily sticks to the press or rolling pin.
Press the tortilla and then cook it in a frying pan on both sides. I used a normal non-stick pan I got from IKEA and it works fine. The heat should be at about medium hot. I have an induction stove and had it on 6-7 on a scale of 10.
The cooking takes about 2-4 minutes, I let it cook for about one minute and then flipped it. Then it will be partially filled with the hot air and blow up a little bit. Once cooked remove it and keep it warm. I used a kitchen towel where I put the tortillas in between. You don’t have to keep them warm if you want to cook them before serving. You can leave them to cool in the towel or put them in a plastic bag after they cooled down a bit and then reheat in time for serving.
I did invest a few buck in an Mexican tortilla press, it cost me around $35 via an online store in Sweden. Considering it was made in Mexico and I bought it here I’m guessing I payed more than what you could find one for anywhere. And it is made out of cast iron so it’s not like I’m gonna wear it out.
The fact that it looks really cool and I get to say that I own a tortilla press from Mexico doesn’t hurt either.
Enough for 10 tacos
2 dl / 0.85 cups mayonnaise
3 tbsp chipotle sauce
This isn’t much of a recipe but you don’t have to do everything from scratch. This is simply a store bought mayonnaise that I combined with a chipotle sauce. The sauce is bought in Sweden but it is made in Mexico. Here it is sold under a Private Label brand but I have a good hunch that it is really the Salsa Picante from La Moreno in Mexico.
It’s about 30% chipotle in the sauce and the rest is tomato paste, onion, salt and some herbs. The taste is a semi-sweet sauce with some heat and plenty of smoke from the chipotle. You can make this yourself from scratch or find something similar in your local store.
Mayonnaise is not that hard to make yourself either, that doesn’t mean you have to make it. Get a favorite from the store or make your own. It doesn’t matter.
Cabbage lime salad
Enough for 10 tacos
½ small head of white cabbage (about 500g / 18 oz)
1 red onion
1 tsp salt
This salad is a favorite of mine, I made it using fresh cabbage. When it’s the first of spring it is almost like a iceberg lettuce with more flavor and an incredible ingredient that can be used for lots of stuff.
Slice the cabbage thin and season with salt. Peel and slice the red onion and slice the scallions and add to the cabbage. Grate the peel of the lime and squeeze the limes and add to the salad. This salad tastes the best if you leave it for and hour or two but can be served straight away.
Since I’m using fresh spring cabbage I don’t have to slice the cabbage that thin since it’s really delicate anyway. But if you make this with winter cabbage the leaves are thicker and less moist, then you should slice it as thin as possible. Otherwise it feels dry and doesn’t taste as good.
Fried salty pork with chipotle sauce
Use 1-2 slices for each taco
Salty sliced pork
The fried salty pork is a staple in Sweden, I’m not sure what you call it in English but it’s sliced salte pork belly. In other words bacon without the smoke. Since it has that great fat it goes perfectly fried crispy with the chipotle sauce. The chipotle sauce is the same one as used for the chipotle mayonnaise above.
How to cook it is simple, just fry it in a dry pan. The fat in the pork is enough to make it crisp so there is no need to add any extra. Just fry it in a pan and turn it every 30-60 seconds until it’s crisp. Medium high heat is good.
For the taco I brushed the pork with the chipotle sauce on the actual taco. That is fine if you’re making one taco but that is rarely the case so you can brush all the pork once it is crisp and then add it to the taco.
Charred green peppers
1-2 peppers for each taco
Green thin peppers (or pimientos de padrón)
These charred green peppers has become a favorite of mine. I use thin green peppers that taste almost like green fresh paprika but better. So they are not hot even though they look like green chilies.I’m not really sure what they are called, I think they are more common in the more Eastern parts of Europe. I char them using a gas torch that I normally use for caramelizing creme brulee.
Toss the peppers in a little bit of oil. Then charr them with the torch until they are slightly burnt all over. Then chop them in big chunks, add a little bit of extra oil and season with salt. The result is a delicious semi-raw green pepper with a slight smoky and sweet taste, perfect for a pork chipotle taco but also for a bunch of other stuff.
If you don’t have a gas torch I recommend getting one at a hardware store. There you can get a better one for a fraction of the price that you would pay on a gourmet foodstore. Once you have it you’ll find that it can be used for all sorts of things.
But you can still make the charred peppers even if you don’t have a torch. Either roast them on high heat in a pan, in the oven or over an open flame in the grill. These ways will give a similar result but it is harder to control and there is a bigger chance of the peppers being overcooked and you’ll lose that raw quality to the pepper. It’s still tasty though.
That’s about it, now go make a pork chipotle taco, and if you have any suggestions, opinions or questions leave a comment or connect on social media.