Monday, May 3, 2010

Ancho Chile Pork Tacos with Roasted Corn and Caramelized Onions

I have recently begun to cook pork a lot more often than I used to. Since I do not eat beef, or hardly any fish, I wanted to be able to switch it up every now and again from chicken, chicken, and more chicken. I've been trying to figure out some creative ways to use pork, and this recipe certainly fits the bill.

I found this recipe online, by browsing Recipezaar for pork tacos. I thought that sounded really good, and plus I had some flour and corn tortillas to use up! This dish seemed very simple and relatively low maintenance, so I made it on a weeknight when I knew I'd need something like that up my sleeve. I did change the recipe slightly based on what I had on hand that I wanted to use up.

You roast the pork in the oven with a quick spice rub slathered on. While this cooked, I was able to caramelize some onions, chop up some green onions, and shuck some previously roasted corn. Roasting corn is my new favorite way to prepare it. It is very hard to mess up! Simply put the corn, still in its husk, into a 350 degree oven for about a half hour. That's all there is to it! I learned this method while watching Tyler Florence on the Food Network one day, and I just had to try it. It's pretty much foolproof.

Once the pork was finished, I allowed it to rest for about 10 minutes. I sliced it up sort of thinly, then set up all the taco toppings in bowls and warmed up some tortillas. The taco filling is so simple, yet so fresh and light! The spice-rubbed pork was so delicious for containing so few ingredients. The caramelized onions are sweet and juicy. The roasted corn adds a welcome bit of crunch and flavor. The green onions provide a nice, sharp contrast to the other, much sweeter veggies. A sprinkle of green salsa and Cholula (our hot sauce of choice!) added some great heat to the taco. Together, all these components added up to a seriously yummy creation. Next time, I could add some limes to the dinner table. Some citrusy juice sprinkled over the tops of these would be so divine. Even without that, I was completely satisfied with this meal. My kids loved the pork, too, so that was a plus!

I found the original recipe here. I am going to post the recipe the way I made it, though, since I really enjoyed this with my changes.

Pork Tacos with Roasted Corn and Caramelized Onions

adapted from Recipezaar (original recipe from Cooking Light)

makes 8 tacos


2-3 ears of corn, in husks

1 Tbsp. ancho chile powder

1 tsp. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed of visible fat

1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cups onions, thinly sliced

8 tortillas (I used half flour, half corn)

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Salsa, green salsa, or hot sauce, to taste


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ears of corn, still in the husk, directly on the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Remove corn from oven and let cool enough to handle.

2. Turn heat up to 425 degrees F. Prepare pork by combining the ancho powder, brown sugar, and salt in a small bowl and rubbing it evenly over the pork. Place tenderloin on a foil-lined baking sheet, coated in cooking spray, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees. Let the pork rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

3. While pork is cooking, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil, then the thinly sliced onions. Cover and cook at least 10 minutes, until onions are soft and golden brown, stirring frequently. Uncover and cook another few minutes, then remove from heat.

4. As the onions and pork continue their respective cooking processes, you can cut the corn off their husks. I use a bundt pan to do this. I peel the husk back and use it as a handle. I then place the corn into the center hole of the bundt pan and, using a sharp knife, slice downward. The corn falls away from the cob and into the bundt pan. It's a great trick!

5. After pork rests, slice it thinly and serve it alongside the caramelized onions and roasted corn. Gently warm the tortillas, then assemble tacos and enjoy!


  1. I made this for supper and it was so good!! I will absolutely fix it again - will be perfect for fixing when the family is coming over. Everyone can add just what ingredients they choose - like a taco night :)

  2. I wanted to add that cooking the corn on the cob in the oven is genius!! I had never heard of this - why cook it any other way?

  3. Thanks for trying this, Debbie! It really is great, isn't it? And as for the corn in the oven, I wholeheartedly agree! Before, I always had a hard time figuring out when the corn was done when I would boil it on the stovetop. Now, with the oven method, I never mess it up! It's fantastic!