Braised Pork Belly Blue Corn Tacos

(5 servings – 16 tacos)

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours 30 minutes (Includes time for braising pork belly)
Total time: 4 hours

Nothing equals making fresh tacos. Right from the dough for the tortillas, hand pressing and then heating over a pan to get the best taste possible. It really does not take much time. The dough for instance does not need much kneading. Two minutes is enough as compared to a pizza or pasta dough this is short change. If you have a good strong hand press then it takes a few quick seconds to press each tortilla flat and heating 2 minutes on each side is enough.

Blue corn as a nature of the darker color has some benefits over the more commonly available yellow corn. The anthocyanins contributing to the darker color function as antioxidants which have cancer preventative and anti – inflammatory properties. Also the starch in blue corn is more easily digested which is better for blood glucose control. So a better options for people with diabetes. Apart from these health benefits, blue corn just looks so much cooler and I enjoyed making these tacos and using my hand press for the first time!

Hope you all enjoy making these tacos and love the taste!

Ingredients:

For the tortillas:

  • 2 cups Maseca blue corn masa
  • 1 ¼ cup luke warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the taco filling & Pork belly:

  • 1 pound pork belly
  • 750 ml apple cider
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3 no. cloves
  • 2 no. cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 no. star anise
  • 1 no. bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ pound green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 3 fresh yellow corn boiled and kernels extracted
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 Pasilla Negra dried chilli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

For the tortillas:

Add the water to the blue corn masa and mix thoroughly for about 2 minutes until you form a soft round dough. If the dough feels dry add a little water one teaspoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 16 equal sized portions.

Using your hand for a ball with each, place on a parchment paper in the hand press and press firm. I turned the pressed tortilla over and gave it another firm press. Do the same with the remaining dough.

For the Pork belly:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

The pork belly can be braised in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days if needed. Place the pork belly fat side up in a baking casserole or pyrex dish. Pour the cider into the dish until the belly is fully submerged. Add the vinegar, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and star anise.

Place the dish in the oven and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to 180 F, cover the dish with an aluminum foil and leave undisturbed in the oven for about 2 ½ hours. Take out of the oven drain the liquid and spices, wrap in a cling wrap and set aside until ready to use.

For the sauce:

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the tablespoon of ginger garlic past and sautee. Roughly chop the dried pasilla negra chile and add to the pan. Fry for about a minute. Then add the sauces and continue cooking. Mix the corn starch in the broth and pour in the pan. The starch thicken the sauce a little. Cook until desired consistency is reached. You want the sauce to slightly cling to a spoon.

Prepare your taco:

Heat the tortillas on medium heat, about 2 minutes on each side until you see slight browning. You will also see the tacos getting darker blue and purple. In a bowl mix the cabbage with the lemon juice.

For the pork belly – Fry the belly fat side down in a frying pan on medium heat about 2-3 minutes until you see a nice brown color. Do this on each side. Set on a cutting board and slice.

For each taco – Add the cabbage, corn. Then the pork belly. Top with the cheese, sauce and cilantro and enjoy!!

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