A fan favorite!
Carla Hall's Pork Tacos
- For the Brined Pork:
- 1 1/2 cups Sugar
- 1 cup Kosher Salt
- 3 quart Cold Water
- 2 cups Fresh Orange Juice
- 2 Heads of Garlic (peeled and cloves smashed)
- 3 Fresh or Dried Bay Leaves
- 4 pounds Boneless Pork Loin
For the Garlic-Orange Rub:
- 6 Garlic Cloves (coarsely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano Leaves
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Chile Flakes
- 1 teaspoon Freshly Grated Orange Zest
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 3 tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
- 1 tablespoon White Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
For the Marinated Red Onions and Peppers:
- 1 Medium Red Onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (stemmed and seeded then thinly sliced)
- 1/2 Habanero Chile (stemmed and seeded then finely chopped)
- 2 Fresh or Dried Bay Leaves (torn into a few pieces)
- 2 tablespoons White Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
- 24 Flour Tortillas (6-inch round)
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) Queso Blanco or Fresco (crumbled)
- Fresh Cilantro spring to garnish
- For the Brined Pork: In a very large bowl or pot, combine the sugar, salt, and water, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in the juice, garlic, and bay leaves, then add the pork. The meat should be completely submerged in the brine. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.
- For the Garlic-Orange Rub: In a food processor, pulse the garlic, cumin, oregano, chile flakes, orange zest, salt, and pepper until a coarse paste forms. With the machine running, add the juice, vinegar, and oil.
- Remove the pork from the brine; discard the brine and solids. Rinse the pork thoroughly, then pat dry with paper towels. Rub the garlic paste all over the pork and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
- For the Marinated Red Onions and Peppers: In a medium bowl, combine the onion, bell pepper, chile, bay leaves, vinegar, salt and pepper. Let sit until the onion turns pink and soft, at least 1 hour and up to overnight. (Cover and refrigerate if marinating overnight)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the oil and sear the garlic-rubbed pork until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the pork registers 140 degrees F, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into very thin slices.
- Heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Warm the tortillas, one at a time, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and softened.
- Arrange a few slices of meat in each warm tortilla, top with some marinated onions, cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately.