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Taco Truck Tacos—At Home

You may have heard that food trucks—serving everything from Korean BBQ to Belgian waffles—are about to take this county by storm. There’s even a new tv show about to launch on the Food Network called The Great Food Truck Race. But arguably some of the most popular trucks are the ones serving authentic Mexican tacos. One of these is owned by chef Roberto Santibanez, who runs a most excellent taco truck in Hoboken, N.J. My friend Leslie, who’s the food editor for Glamour magazine, was able to track him down for the September issue (J. Lo is on the cover wearing a leopard bustier and pulling her pony tail—check it out!), and  he gave the magazine some amazing Mexican recipes for the home cook. My favorite by far is the recipe for carnitas—caramelized pieces of delicious pork that are served in a tortilla with a variety of fixings. I made the carnitas for my husband’s birthday dinner and they were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. You need to prepare them the day before, but other than that, the recipe is super easy. To serve along with them you can keep it simple: avocado slices, crumbled feta, lime squeeze (I made pickled onions as well, I’ll share that super easy recipe soon). After you make them, you might want to start your own truck…

CARNITAS
fro Chef Roberto Santibañez/Taco Truck, adapted by Glamour Magazine

Serves 8 regular portions, or enough for 24 to 32 tacos
Active time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours

4 lb fatty pork butt (shoulder), cut into 2-inch pieces
2 oz pork lard or vegetable oil
3 cups water
½ orange, cut into 2 pieces
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 teaspoons fine salt (or 4 teaspoons coarse salt)
3 bay leaves

Put all the ingredients in a wide 6- to 7-quart heavy pot (don’t worry if pork is not completely covered) and bring to a boil, skimming surface as necessary. Simmer vigorously over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender and the liquid has completely evaporates, about 1 ½ hours. Discard the orange and bay leaves.

Lower the heat to medium and continue frying the pork in the fat left in the pan, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Carnitas keep in the refrigerator 3 days. If you prefer, you can do the browning in the oven (right away or when you reheat the carnitas) Preheat the oven to 450°F and cook until browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

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