I really like tacos. I think my love for them has stemmed from my relatively recent discovery that they don't need to be comprised of dry ground beef and limp iceberg lettuce; that good tacos use better, fresher ingredients and have a lot more flavor.
I was never one to hop on the "sweet & savory" train that seems to be so popular now, but it really works here because the sweetness from the honey is so subtle compared to the strong, spicy, smoky flavor of adobo chipotles, and provides a much-needed contrast. Caramelized onions provided another source of subtle sweetness to balance all of the spice in the pork, as well as the chipotle slaw (which I also used in my recipe for fish tacos), and the spicy bourbon beans are great as a side dish or right inside the tacos themselves.
Tacos are a fun dish to make because there are so many possible toppings and combinations; just mix and match until you find what you like the best.
Honey Chipotle Pork Tacos with Caramelized Onions
Ingredients - Serves 4-6:
1 ˝ lbs pork tenderloin
2 chipotles in adobo, coarsely chopped, plus ˝ teaspoons of adobo sauce (adjust to your tastes)
2 tbsp honey
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp salt
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 jalapeno, seeded & minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp cumin
3 tbsp bourbon
Chipotle Slaw (recipe can be found here)
8-12 6-inch corn tortillas, heated in microwave or on the stove until pliable.
Cilantro, for garnish
1. Combine pork with chipotles, adobo, honey, lime juice & zest, garlic, and salt in a large zip top bag. Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add in onions. Sweat for 5 minutes until they start to soften, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Lower heat and cook until they become a dark brown, stirring occasionally. This could take about 20-30 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add in a touch of water.
3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the pork, and sear about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a sheet pan and continue cooking in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches about 140-145 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the bourbon black beans. In the same skillet the pork was cooked in, sauté the garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Add in the black beans and cumin and sauté for 2 minutes more. Take the skillet off of the heat and add in the bourbon (this is very important-if you leave it on the heat, it may flare up). Deglaze the pan by scraping up all of the brown bits from cooking the pork. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
5. After pork has rested, slice thinly.
6. To serve, top taco with pork, beans, caramelized onion, chipotle slaw, and cilantro.
By: Jessica Verderame
Read more recipes at www.allmediany,com
Jessica Verderame is a staff writer at AllMediaNY.com.