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Ground Pork Tacos with Almonds and Raisins

Ground Pork Tacos with Almonds and Raisins



Slug Icon WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Sometimes we crave something a bit different from familiar spiced ground beef taco fillings. We wanted to develop a ground meat filling with a bit more pizzazz and authentic Mexican flavor, so we turned to picadillo Oaxaqueño, a Mexican preparation of tender ground pork with onions, raisins, and warm spices like cinnamon and cloves. The combination of contrasting flavors and textures creates a savory-sweet filling for empanadas, chiles rellenos, or tacos. To create a deeply aromatic backbone for the pork, we started by softening the onion, then adding the garlic and spices so that their flavors would bloom. After sautéing the pork briefly, we added a little chicken broth and tomato sauce for depth, along with the raisins. But tasters found the filling a bit cloying: We needed to rein in the combined sweetness of the pork, raisins, tomato sauce, and warm spices. We tried cutting down on

the tomato sauce, but tasters missed the rich tomato flavor; in the end, a bit of cider vinegar and some smoky chipotle brought the flavors into focus and balanced the sweetness just enough. We added toasted almonds just before serving, which preserved their crunch and provided nutty flavor and textural contrast to our rich pork. Depending on the fat level of the ground pork, you may need to drain off some excess grease before adding the tomato sauce and broth. We prefer Homemade Taco Shells, but you can use your favorite store-bought shells. Serve with shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, and Mexican crema or sour cream.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion, chopped fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

1 pound ground pork

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup canned tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chopped raisins

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Salt and pepper

¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

8 taco shells, warmed


1. Warmth oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium warmth until sparkling.  Add onion and cook until relaxed, 5 to 7 min. Stir in garlic, chipotle, cinnamon, and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in pork and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in broth, tomato sauce, raisins, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in almonds and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide filling evenly among taco shells and serve.

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