Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, & Avocado Crema

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Jackfruit has been an ingredient that we have been trying to play around with lately.  It works great in place of any pulled meats (chicken, pork, beef, etc.), and has a really sweet & tangy taste.  We’ve made such things as pulled pork sliders, shredded buffalo chicken sandwiches, and beef barbacoa from jackfruit before, but today we are using it to make pork carnitas!  I always loved carnitas on a taco, because its pretty mild, and doesn’t take away from the flavors of your taco toppings.  I wanted to make carnitas for these tacos, because we are also making refried black beans, homemade roasted tomatillo salsa, & fresh avocado crema for the tacos as well, & I want those to not overpower the main ingredient.  This may seem like a long / complicated recipe, but I promise its not, and that you’ll be shocked by how easy & delicious this is!

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We are first going to start out with the roasted tomatillo salsa.  For this, you’ll need some tomatillos, heirloom tomato, red onion, garlic, fresno chili, serrano chili, and jalapeno peppers. Slice everything except the peppers & garlic, and transfer to a baking dish.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, & pepper, and place in a preheated 400 degree fahrenheit oven.  You want to roast them for about 40-45 minutes, or until they’re charred slightly around the edges.  Once everything is done roasting, transfer all of your tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, and garlic to a blender, leaving your peppers out.  With the peppers, these next steps really depend on how spicy you want your salsa.  You’ll want to slice the stems off all of the peppers, but if you want it less spicy, remove the ribs & seeds from your peppers too.  You can also do this before roasting as well, but I personally like roasting the peppers whole.  After you’ve cleaned your peppers, add those to the blender as well.  Add a pinch of salt & pepper, fresh squeezed lime juice, and fresh cilantro.  Blend until smooth, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate!  So simple, and this makes a great salsa that can be used for many different things.  We love just simply dipping some chips in it as well!

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organic-apothecary-taco-1-12For the refried black beans, you’ll need very few ingredients.  Black beans, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, vegetable broth, salt, pepper.  Sautee the onion, garlic, & jalapeno in a bit of olive oil until soft, then add 1/3 of the black beans and vegetable broth.  Cook down until hot, then blend until perfectly smooth.  Return to the pot, and add the rest of your beans & vegetable broth.  Cook until your beans are hot and cooked through, then mash with a potato masher until you have a creamy spread, that still has a few chunks running throughout.

For your carnitas,  you’ll want to add your jackfruit, hot sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, vegetable broth, and flour to a sautee pan, with a small dash of olive oil, and cook until everything is incorporated and heated through.  These are probably the easiest thing to make in this recipe, and they last so well in the fridge as well.

organic-apothecary-taco-1-19organic-apothecary-taco-1-13For your avocado crema,  blend your cashews, water, apple cider vinegar, salt, lime juice, lime zest, and avocado together in your blender.  Adjust seasoning and transfer to the bowl.  You can also leave out the avocado, and lime zest, & swap your lime juice for lemon juice, and it makes a great plain vegan sour cream as well.  Adding the avocado just makes it so creamy, and helps conserve the mess of an extra thick layer of guacamole on the taco.

Once you have all your components cooked, its time to assemble!  You’ll need your black beans, jackfruit, salsa, avocado crema, and I like to also top it with some diced radish, just to give a little crunch and spice.  I serve these on freshly cooked corn tortillas, and with a side of cilantro & lime.  We hope you guys enjoy this recipe, & give jackfruit a chance!  Hopefully you’ll love it as much as us!

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INGREDIENTS

Beans:

  • 3 cans of black beans
  • 1/3 cup red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs & seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 tbs pink himalayan salt
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1/2-1/3 cup vegetable stock (depends how smooth you like them)
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Salsa:

  • 6 tomatillos
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 jalapeno peppers *
  • 1 fresno chili *
  • 2 serrano chilis *

*this all depends on how spicy you want your salsa.

Avocado Crema:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2/3 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt

Carnitas:

  • 3 cans brined jackfruit
  • 2 tbs cholula hot sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 1/2 tbs pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tbs white pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin

Misc:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Radishes

DIRECTIONS

Beans:

  1. Finely chop your onion, garlic, and jalapeno, and add it to a hot pan with olive oil.  Add 1/3 of your black beans to this mixture, as well as 1/2 of your vegetable stock.  Cook until heated through, then blend together until completely smooth.
  2. Return to the pot, then add the rest of your beans and veggie stock.  Allow to cook until heated through, then using a potato masher, mash the beans and stock in with the puree and until they are as smooth as you’d like them.

Salsa:

  1. Chop all of your veggies except for your peppers & garlic, place everything on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, & pepper, and place in a preheated 400 degree fahrenheit oven.  Let them roast for about 40-45 minutes, or until they have a slight char around the edges.  *don’t put the cilantro or lime in the oven*
  2.  After your veggies are done roasting, remove the stems from the peppers, and if you like your salsa more mild, remove the ribs and stems from the peppers.  Then transfer everything to a blender, add your cilantro & lime juice, and blend until smooth.

Avocado Crema:

  1. Soak your cashews in water for about an hour.  Rinse and drain, then add to a blender with your water, lime juice / zest, apple cider vinegar, salt, and avocado.
  2. Blend until smooth.  Add more / less water depending how thin you want it.  I made mine pretty thick.

Carnitas:

  1. Mince your garlic, and finely dice your shallot.  Add to a pan with oil and sautee until translucent.
  2. Add the rest of your ingredients and cook until heated through.
  3. Pull with a fork, and tear up until it resembles pulled carnitas.

Tacos:

  1. Slightly warm your corn tortillas.
  2. Spread some refried black beans on the bottom, then add some carnitas, the tomatillo salsa, avocado crema, & then some finely diced radish on top.
  3. Serve & Enjoy!

We really hope you all enjoy this recipe!  Its our go to taco recipe, and hope it becomes yours too!

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