pork

ancho chili-peach glazed pork tacos

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Don't over-think this recipe.  It may seem as if there are many complicated steps but they are all ridiculously easy to execute.  And I've backed them up with a bunch of pictures so you'll never be alone.  This is a great main dish to make for a dinner party or a even a quick weeknight meal.  You do have to think ahead a little bit and soak the chilies and brine the pork overnight.  The glaze can be made up to a week in advance.  The depth and layers of flavor in the glaze are pretty amazing; a little smokey, a bit of heat with a hint of a vanilla-sweet finish.

You'll get a couple of bonuses, too.  You'll have extra ancho chili-peach glaze which can be used on salmon, arctic char, scallops and chicken beautifully.  You'll also have leftover ancho puree which can be mixed with mayo to make a pretty rockin' condiment for sandwiches or a dip for sweet potato fries.  Even the soaking liquid can be reduced to make a very interesting addition to cocktails...more on that soon.

I served the tacos with some quinoa (spiced up with some chopped hatch chili peppers) and a big green salad.  I'm lucky to live in a place where fresh, delicious, uber-nutritious blue corn tortillas are available.  It's worth the effort to seek them out.  I also suggest serving the tacos with some chipotle cream sauce.  If you've never tried it before, the time is now.

ancho chili-peach glazed pork tacos

for the glaze:

4 dried ancho chilis

2 large white peaches, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 c maple syrup

reserved soaking water

lime juice to taste

smoked salt

pepper 

olive oil

for the brine:

1 T smoke sea salt (or regular)

1 t ground cumin 

2 t brown sugar

1 t ground ancho chili powder

1/8 c olive oil

3 lbs pork tenderloin

for the tacos:

blue corn tortillas

1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly shredded

1/4 c cilantro, roughly chopped

lime 

chipotle cream sauce

extra ancho-peach glaze

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Soak dried ancho chilis overnight.

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Combine all of the ingredients for the brine.  Rub on pork, cover and refrigerate overnight.

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Drain and reserve soaking liquid.

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Remove seeds, stems and ribs.

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Puree in a blender on high speed until smooth.  You may need to add a couple of tablespoons of the soaking liquid to make it go.

ingredients for pork tacos

ingredients for pork tacos

Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, peaches, stirring often until the peaches soften.

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Add a few tablespoons of the the ancho puree and cook a few minutes more.

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Turn the heat down to low, add the maple syrup, continuing to cook for about 5 minutes.  Add some (about a cup) of the reserved soaking liquid  and cook until slightly thickened but still loose.

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Let cool slightly and process until smooth in a high speed blender.  Adjust seasoning to take, adding maybe a squeeze of lime juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.  Can be made up to a week ahead.

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In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cilantro and lime.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Bring the pork to just about room temp (a good practice when cooking any meat) and grill over medium-high heat until just about done.  Baste the pork with the glaze and grill for a minute or so more on all asides.

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Let rest for about 5-7 minutes before slicing.

Re-heat the tortillas while the pork is resting.  Serve the pork with tortillas, cabbage salad, reserved glaze and chipotle cream sauce.

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