Smoked pork tacos with salsa fresca

porktaco1.jpg
0.82 lbs. pork loin end chop (bone-in)
salt
1/4 tsp. whole cumin, ground
1/4 tsp. whole dried thyme, ground
1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp. lard or vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced

I used a thick pork loin end chop, bone-in, but pretty much any cut of pork should work.

Season the pork with salt, then coat one side with the ground seasoning mixture.

porktaco2.jpgPut in a vacuum bag, add a small amount of lard or vegetable oil. Add the onions and garlic and vacuum seal.

Sous vide for 4 hours at 157°F. Let rest for an hour, remove the pork from the bag. Discard the remainder.

Smoke for 40 minutes to 1 hour at 200 to 220°F. Let rest for a half hour. Debone if necessary and thinly slice.

porktaco3.jpgThe recipe up to this point can be made ahead of time.

The salsa fresca should be made a half hour before serving so you should probably make that at this point. It will also take quite a bit of chopping so allow time for that, too.

I really like this technique for reheating store-bought corn tortillas: 

Put hot water in the bottom of a pan. Add a steamer insert. Wrap the tortillas in a clean towel. Cover. Place on the stove over high heat and heat until steam comes from the under the lid, then continue to steam for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. This creates beautiful soft tortillas.

Top the warm tortilla with sliced pork and salsa fresca.

The tortilla reheating technique is from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless, p. 353, which is an excellent cookbook. I highly recommend it.

The pork is my own recipe using common Mexican flavors but with modern cooking techniques: sous vide and a smoker. You could go completely the opposite way and make this recipe with nothing but some bananas leaves and a cooking pit dug into the ground. Your choice.

The pork came from Tangletown Farm Meat CSA Week #1.

There's also the closely related seafood version: Citrus marinated fish tacos.