Beach House Kamado (Brined) Pork Tacos with Corn Salsa

August5

Sister #2 had surgery this week and is now recuperating at their home at the lake.  In an attempt to increase her rest time but also give her the excuse for an outing, we have invited them over to our place for dinners this long weekend.  This is easy to achieve since their place is a mere three cottages away with a cut through of the kind neighbours at a 4th house.  At the appointed hour, they (two adults and one beautiful old white lab) mosey on over to assemble in our solarium if the bugs are pesky or el fresco if they have subsided.

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I had a couple of pork tenderloins in the freezer and we often prepare them in a brine, the recipe of which was given to us by Sister #3.  But to mix things up a bit, I saw that my gifted copy of “The Kamado Smoker & Grill Cookbook” written by Chris Grove (Ulysses Press)
had a version close to ours but with a Mexican influence.  Since we all travel to Isla Mujeres together, chilies and cilantro is just our “cuppa tea”.

As is often the case when I am cooking at the Beach House, I had to modify a couple of ingredients to make this dinner all come together-some out of necessity and some because of preference.  We prefer wheat tortillas over corn ones and to be specific whole wheat wraps are our favourite.  The recipe book also recommends having Mexican toppings on hand such as Mexican crema and cotija cheese.  For these I substituted Greek yoghurt and feta cheese.  Regular white sugar replaced piloncillo (Mexican sugar) and other than that my recipe list was complete.  Whether you specifically recreate this recipe or not, the pre-amble for this and every recipe in the book is extremely detailed and helpful for your general reference.

A brine is a simple solution of salt, sugar, and some type of aromatic.  Just remember this one rule and you will be on your way to making your own brines: use 2 to 5 tables of kosher salt per quart of water and equivalent amount ( or less) of sugar.  ….Add whatever aromatics you like.  If they dissolve in water, then you don’t have to heat your brine first.  But a lot of seasonings (such as black pepper) aren’t water soluble, and you need to heat the brine for 5 minutes to release their essential oils.  Then you need to cool it back down to 40 degrees or below to make it food-safe.  To do that, I put one of those blue freezer packs in a zip-top bag and put it in the brine in the refrigerator until the mixture comes down to temp.

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Beach House Kamado (Brined) Pork Tacos with Corn Salsa
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Taco toppings as desired ( such as Mexican crema, cilantro, Cjojita cheese)
  • For the Brine:
  • 1½ qts distilled water
  • 5 T kosher salt
  • 4 T rated piloncillo (Mexican sugar)
  • 1,2 t ground dried chile
  • ½ t dried oregano
  • ½ t dried minced garlic
  • ½ t dried minced onion
  • For the corn salsa:
  • 1½ c corn kernels, drained if using canned
  • ½ c black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ c diced red onion
  • 1 poblano chile fire roasted, peeled and seeds removed)
  • ¼ c chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice from 2 lime, preferably grilled
  • 1 t kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ t ground cumin
  • ¼ t ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ T sugar
  • For the rub:
  • 1½ t seasoned salt
  • 1½ t chili powder
  • ⅓ t granulated garlic
  • ⅓ t dried oregano
  • ½ t ancho chile powder
Instructions
  1. Mix the bine ingredients together in a medium saucepan and bring to a strong simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the stovetop and let rest for 15 minutes. Cool to 40 degrees by putting an ice bag in the brine and placing it in the fridge or freezer.
  2. Remove the ice bag and place the pork in the brine. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. In a bowl, mix together all the salsa ingredients. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired, Refrigerate until ready to serve,
  4. setup your Kamado for direct heat and preheat it to 450 Fahrenheit.
  5. Stir the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
  6. Remove the pork from the brine. Rinse, dry thoroughly, and season with the dry rub.
  7. Place the tenderloins on the main grill grate and close the dome lid. Grill, turning every 5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. while you let the meat rest for 5 minutes, wrap the tortillas in a single tack in foil and warm them on the grill for about 20 seconds per side.
  9. Slice the meat thinly and serve on he corn tortillas along with the salsa and any other topping you wish.

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More tips from this excellent reference cookbook:

To get an extra boost of flavour, try grilling citrus ingredients for marinades and cocktails.  Cut them in half and grill direct, cut side down, over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

OMGoodness-the refreshing lime taste went to an entirely new level.  A fabulous tip that we will use often.

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The tacos were served to rave reviews along side grilled pitty pat yellow squash and sautéed coloured swiss chard. A meal that was huge on flavour, low on fat and best of all -full of protein, nutrients and anti-oxidants to help my amazing sister heal.

I love this new cookbook in my repertoire.  The next step will be acquiring a Kamado Smoker & Grill!  Here’s what the book’s publicist had to say about it:

Designed to do everything from slow smoke at 250 degrees to flash sear at 700 degrees, the kamado-style grill is the most versatile and powerful backyard cooker. Are you ready to become a Kamado Pro?

Introducing “The Kamado Smoker and Grill Cookbook,” the first all-encompassing guide to the wildly popular egg-shaped ceramic cooker currently blowing up the world of barbecue.

This cookbook is organized into 52 tutorials that combine a valuable kamado cooking technique with a delicious recipe that are sure to transform you from casual griller to kamado masterchef!

You’ll learn the steps and secrets to perfectly grilling Cajun Strip Steak, smoking Hickory Smoked Chicken, brick oven baking Wood-Fired Pizza, salt-block grilling Tropical BBQ Tuna, and so much more.

With gorgeous full-color photographs as well as loads of tips and tricks, this is a must-have manual for anyone (like Dad!) looking to spend their summer enjoying tasty barbecue!

Kath’s quote: “Cookery, or the art of preparing good and wholesome food, and of preserving all sorts of alimentary substances in a state fit for human sustenance, or rendering that agreeable to the taste which is essential to the support of life, and of pleasing the palate without injury to the system, is, strictly speaking, a branch of chemistry; but, important as it is both to our enjoyments and our health, it is also one of the latest cultivated branches of the science.”-Frederick Accum (1769-1838)

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Love-that is all.

 

 

 

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