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Tacos are a great way to bring a family together around a table. You essentially make a lot of little great ingredients and then to put them all together in one great grilled pork taco. As the tacos are built to order family members can build them any way they want. The greatest thing about the following recipes is that each one can be made individually as a great building block to a myriad of other dishes. You’re only limited by your imagination!

To make tacos for 4 you’ll need:

  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 2 c shredded cabbage
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh limes
  • ½ c queso fresco or cheese of choice

And:

Grilled Pork Loin

12 oz pork loin, brined for four hours

The brining of your pork is a really important step! Brining doesn’t just add a lot of flavor, it also keeps the meat moist during cooking.

Brine:

  • 4 c water
  • 2 oz kosher salt
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 3 stems rosemary
  • 3 stems thyme
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Allow to cool completely. Strain off aromatics. Brine can be kept in the fridge for up to a month.

To grill the pork, preheat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with a towel. Cut the loin down into thin medallions. Lightly oil your grill and lay the cut side of the medallions on the grill. Flip the medallions once and cook to desired doneness, recommendation is medium well (about 160 degrees). Remove from pan and allow to rest about 15 minutes before chopping for tacos.

 

Black Beans

  • 1 -15 oz can black beans, drained
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ T minced garlic

Southwest Seasoning:

  • ½ t cayenne
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • ½ t black pepper
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ½ t crushed red pepper
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t granulated onion
  • 1 t granulated garlic
  • Water, as needed

 

Saute onions and garlic in vegetable oil until they are just tender. Add all the spices and sauté for aroma

Add the black beans and just enough of the cooking liquid to cover. Bring to temperature and reduce heat, let simmer for 30 minutes

Taste again for salt and seasonings.

 

Salsa Fresca

  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 3 T cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapenos, deseeded and diced
  • 1 lemon, zest and Juice
  • ½ t T black pepper
  • ½ T salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. For best flavor make about 30 minutes before you plan to use it.

To construct the tacos, heat the corn tortillas in a medium pan over medium heat. This can be done as you need them or all at once and covered and held in a warm place like a low temperature oven. I recommend double layering the tacos as corn tortillas are a little more brittle than flour tortillas. Lay a little shredded cabbage in the middle of the taco. Spoon in some beans and some of the chopped grilled pork. Finish with the salsa fresca, a sprinkle of fresh cheese and a squeeze of lime. Tacos are best consumed quickly!

Geoff Bragg

About Geoff Bragg

Geoffrey Bragg was born on Fort Rucker in Alabama to an Army major raised in Tampa and his Vietnamese wife. Needless to say, the blend of cultures created an interesting culinary dichotomy Geoff feels was extremely influential to his cooking today. He was raised in Charlotte and has always considered himself a product of the South. With an extensive resume, from vegetarian restaurants to gastropubs, Geoff is currently working as a personal chef with a focus on culinary instruction. He is excited to be back in the city he calls home, close to family and friends and working on a project he feels will help to shape Charlotte’s already explosive culinary scene.

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