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Recipes // Sandwiches and Wraps // Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Tomatillos

Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Tomatillos

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Recipe by Chef Scott Leibfried

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Pork:

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (8-ounce) center rib pork loin chops, deboned, pounded
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 4 limes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, halved, seeded, and minced
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

For Serving:

  • 2 tomatillos, halved crosswise
  • 2 jalapenos, halved lengthwise, seeded if desired
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. To make the pork, in a small bowl combine the paprika, granulated onion, salt, and pepper. Mix with your fingers to evenly blend the spices. Put the pork chops on a large plate and sprinkle the spice mixture onto the meat to evenly coat all sides. If you have time, cover and refrigerate the pork chops for 1 hour or even overnight, to let the flavors sink in.
  2. Put a large, wide Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, lay the seasoned pork chops in the pot. Brown well on both sides, turning with tongs.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits of pork. Add the lime juice and zest, garlic, jalapenos, and agave nectar. Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, basting the pork with the liquid periodically. Remove the lid, turn the pork chops over with tongs, and continue to cook, covered, for 10 minutes. While the pork is cooking, make the taco accompaniments.
  4. Put a grill pan or dry cast-iron skillet over high heat. Lay the tomatillos, jalapenos, and limes in the hot pan and cook until charred on all sides, turning with tongs. The limes will brown the quickest; remove to a side plate as they become ready. Once the skin of the tomatillos and jalapenos begins to crack and soften, transfer to a cutting board. Chop the tomatillos and slice the jalapenos for serving. Finally, lay the tortillas in the dry pan and brown lightly on both sides.
  5. To serve, slice the pork chops into thin strips against the grain. Divide the meat among the corn tortillas. Top each taco with tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with the charred lime wedges.
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