8 dried ancho chile peppers (the dried version of poblano peppers)*
1 dried arbol chile pepper**
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup Chicken Stock (preferable home made)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons firmly-packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into bite size cubes
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Flour Tortillas (purchased or homemade)***
6 to 8 Assorted toppings (see Toppings below)
* Chiles de arbol or arbol chile (ARE-bowl): They are narrow, curved chiles that start out green and mature to a 3-inch to 5-inch bright red pod. The arbol chile is very hot, and related to cayenne pepper. These chiles register around 50,000-65,000 on the scoville heat unit scale (or about 7-8 on a 1-10 scale). These chile peppers are found Mexican Food Stores and in most hispanic food sections of grocery stores. If you can't find arbol or guamillo chile peppers, substitute dried cayenne chile peppers.
** Ancho or Poblano Chile Peppers: Pronounced AHN-choh. A dried deep reddish brown chile pepper about 3 inches wide and 4 inches long with a sweet hot flavor. When fresh they are referred to as poblanos. They look like small bell peppers. Anchos are flat, wrinkled, and heart shaped. They range in color from very dark red to almost black. Anchos are mild to moderately hot and often soaked and ground for use in sauces.
*** Learn How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas: Enchiladas, tacos, chilequilas, flautas, and or course the chips served in almost every Mexican/Spanish restaurant are only a fraction of the numerous dishes centered on the flour tortilla.
Preparing the Chile Peppers:
Put on a pair of latex gloves before beginning this recipe. Always wear gloves when working with hot chile peppers (fresh, dried or roasted chiles). Never touch your eyes when working with chiles. Please do not learn this lesson the hard way!
Heat a heavy frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and toast until they blister, turning often. Transfer toasted chile peppers to a medium saucepan and add water and vinegar. Bring just to boil, reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove peppers with a slotted spoon and then strain the liquid. Set peppers aside to cool. Set strained liquid aside.
Remove stems from cooled chile peppers and discard. Open peppers and remove seeds. Use a chef's knife to roughly chop peppers. Transfer peppers and one cup of the cooking liquid to a blender. Cover and blend until a smooth paste forms.
Preparing the Pork Adobe: In your slow-cooker (crock pot), combine onions, chicken stock, orange juice, brown sugar, tomato paste, cumin, and garlic. Stir in the prepared chile pepper paste. Add pork cubes and stir well. Cover and cook on low for approximately 6 hours. Taste and add salt, to your preference.
Preparing Flour Tortillas: When ready to serve, heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan or on a cast-iron griddle.
Moisten hands lightly with water; rub over tortillas, one at a time. Place tortilla flat into an ungreased heavy frying pan or onto a griddle over medium heat; turn frequently until soft and pliable, approximately 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stack hot tortillas in a covered dish or wrap in aluminum foil. Keep hot for up to 2 hours on an electric warming tray or in a 150 degree F. oven. NOTE: In place of water, I sometimes use non-stick cooking spray.
Fill each tortilla with some of the pork mixture, fold and place on warmed platter. Continue until you have used up all the tortillas.
Serving suggestions: We like to eat these like regular tacos, using the topping suggestions to make a salad. We put the salad into the crisped taco with the meat, pour taco sauce over, or use the sauce that the meat was cooked in. You can also serve the pork/sauce mixture in a bowl, and sprinkle the assorted toppings over the top. Wrap the tortillas in foil, warm in the oven and serve on the side.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Shredded lettuce such as Romaine or Iceberg
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Raw red onion
Monterey Jack Cheese
Your favorite Taco Sauce