Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Frontera Seasoning Sauce Pouches...Featuring Shredded Pork Tacos with Pineapple-Ginger Pico de Gallo

I love making Mexican food…especially tacos for Taco Tuesday! I also love saving time in the kitchen without sacrificing on flavor. I’m really excited to share one of my secrets for serving up delicious tacos with streamlined preparation on my part. I recently discovered Frontera seasoning sauce pouches for tacos, fajitas and carnitas. These flavorful sauces are made with all-natural ingredients – no hard-to-pronounce additives – and fire-roasted chiles. They make Mexican dishes easy enough to cook on even the busiest of days. Yes, this is Frontera as in Chef Rick Bayless. He knows his stuff, so you can bet these sauces are authentic and flavorful! They recently sent me several varieties to try out in my kitchen, and they’ve all been winners. My favorites so far are the Three Citrus-Garlic Marinade for chicken, the Texas Original Taco Skillet Sauce, and the Garlicky Carnitas Slow Cook Sauce that I’m sharing with you today.

All you need is a meaty pork butt, a few flavorful fresh aromatics and a pouch of the spicy and garlicky carnitas sauce. After a few minutes of simple prep, your oven – or slow cooker – does the rest of the work for you. I made these tacos over the weekend for a group of hungry Texans football fans, so I baked my pork in a Dutch oven. For a busy weekday, the slow cooker option would work perfectly too. While the pork cooked, I whipped up a refreshing Pineapple-Ginger Pico de Gallo to pair with the savory pork. When it was time to assemble the tacos, I added a bit of shredded pork to a tortilla and topped with the pico, crumbled queso fresco and diced avocado. Simple never tasted so good!

 Shredded Pork Tacos 
with Pineapple-Ginger Pico de Gallo
adapted from Frontera Kitchens

  • 2 lbs. pork butt
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • Mexican seasoning blend of your choice
  • ½ large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Handful of fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 pouch Frontera Garlicky Carnitas Slow Cook Sauce
  • 1.5 cups water
For the pico de gallo:
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 small Serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1-2 tsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbs. agave or honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For serving:
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
Flour tortillas
1 avocado, peeled and diced
Lime wedges

Step 1: Preheat oven to 325. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven over med-high heat. Sprinkle the pork butt with Mexican seasoning of your choice [NOTE: I used Chef Paul’s Fajita Magic seasoning]. Sear the pork on both sides until nicely browned.

** NOTE: If you're cooking this dish in a crockpot, add the browned meat to a pre-heated crockpot at this point. Then, proceed with the rest of the recipe. **

Add the onion, garlic and cilantro to the sides and top of the pork. Pour in one pouch of Frontera Garlicky Pork Carnita sauce and the water. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
Step 2: Cover the Dutch oven and bake the pork for 2.5 hours, until the meat is fork tender. [If cooking in a crockpot, cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 5-6 hours]. While the pork cooks (making your house smell DIVINE!!), make the pineapple-ginger pico de gallo by combining all of the pico ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate the pico de gallo for at least an hour to let the flavors combine.
Step 3: When the pork is done cooking, use two forks to shred it into the juices. If it seems too juicy, simply reduce it over medium heat until you have your desired consistency. I reduced mine for about 10 minutes to make them less messy. To serve, spoon some of the pork onto steamed flour or corn tortillas. Top with crumbled queso fresco (or crumbly dry feta), pineapple-ginger pico de gallo, and diced avocado. This recipe makes 12-16 tacos, so it's great for a group...and the leftovers are great over rice the next day.
These tacos are so flavorful! Each bite is meaty and spicy…with a bit of tang from the pineapple and a salty kick from the cheese. The pico de gallo is so nice...the little kick from the ginger is a nice background flavor that would also make this salsa great on shrimp or fish tacos. A little avocado is never a bad thing in my book, and it works especially nice in these tacos! These would be the perfect dinner to come home to after a busy day at work…or a great dish to pop in the oven just before kickoff for your next football-watching party. By halftime, your guests are in for a treat!

Disclosure: Frontera provided me with samples of their pouch seasoning sauces to facilitate this post. I received no further compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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