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Ground Pork Tacos are a quick and easy way to spice up your dinner routine. In just 30 minutes, you can serve up tacos that are packed with flavor, thanks to a mix of fresh and pantry-friendly ingredients. Whether it’s a busy weeknight or a casual dinner with friends, these tacos are sure to hit the spot.
The recipe revolves around juicy ground pork, seasoned with a vibrant blend of orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and classic Mexican spices. It’s all about getting that perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and savory in every bite. Top these tacos with homemade Chipotle Crema, crunchy vegetables, and a sprinkle of cheese, and you’ve got a meal that’s both satisfying and exciting. With a variety of toppings to choose from, they’re a great option for pleasing a crowd.
Table of Contents
Ingredients You Need to Make Ground Pork Tacos
- Corn Tortillas: Look for tortillas that are pliable with a slightly rough texture. They shouldn’t crack when bent (a good indication of freshness).
- Mexican Crema or Sour Cream: Choose a brand with a smooth consistency, ideally the full fat version.
- Lime (For Crema and Serving): Select limes that are bright green and firm and heavy for their size, as they’ll yield more juice.
- Chipotle Chile Powder: Choose a powder with a deep, smoky aroma and a color that’s vibrant red-brown.
- Kosher Salt
For the Pork:
- Olive Oil: A light, fruity olive oil is ideal as it won’t overpower the flavors of the pork and spices.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves should be firm, plump, and free from sprouts or soft spots.
- Ground Pork: Look for ground pork with a good balance of meat and fat – around 80-85% meat to 15-20% fat for juiciness and flavor.
- Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice is best for a bright, citrusy flavor. Avoid juices with added sugars.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Choose a natural, unfiltered apple cider vinegar for a more robust and tangy flavor.
- Mexican Oregano: This oregano should have a more robust, citrusy aroma compared to other oregano varieties.
- Ground Cumin: Fresh, whole cumin seeds that you grind yourself will offer the most aromatic and flavorful spice. But cumin powder is perfectly fine also.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Cabbage: Choose a head that feels heavy for its size with crisp, tightly packed leaves.
- Radishes: Look for bright, firm radishes with smooth skin. They should feel heavy and solid.
- White Onion: Select onions that are firm and heavy with dry, papery skins. Avoid any signs of moisture or soft spots.
- Queso Fresco or Cotija: These cheeses should be fresh and crumbly. Queso fresco is milder, while cotija offers a saltier, more aged flavor.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro should have bright green, perky leaves and a strong, fresh aroma.
- Jalapeño (Fresh or Pickled): For fresh jalapeños, look for firm, glossy peppers with no soft spots. Pickled jalapeños should be in a clear brine without any cloudiness.
- Lime Wedges (For Serving): A squeeze of fresh lime juice just before serving brings a zesty, bright note to the tacos, cutting through the richness of the pork and balancing the flavors.
3 Recipe Tips
- Balance the Crema’s Flavor: When making the Chipotle Crema, adjust ingredient amounts to suit your taste. It should have a good balance of creaminess, tang, and heat.
- Let the Pork Simmer: After adding the orange juice and spices to the pan, let it simmer until the liquid reduces. This concentrates the flavors and coats the pork beautifully.
- Customize Your Toppings: Experiment with the toppings. The listed ones like cabbage, radishes, and queso fresco add texture and freshness, but feel free to use swap in your favorites.
- Swap corn tortillas with flour tortillas for a softer texture.
- For a crispy twist on these tacos, consider lightly frying the tortillas in oil instead of warming them in the oven.
- Substitute Mexican crema (or sour cream) with Greek yogurt for a tangier, thicker consistency.
- Replace chipotle chile powder with smoked paprika for a milder smoky flavor.
- Add a splash of tequila to the pork while cooking for an extra depth of flavor.
- Stir chopped pineapple into the pork for a sweet and savory twist.
- Top with avocado slices or guacamole for added creaminess.
- Garnish with diced mango for a sweet, tropical contrast.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover ground pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet before serving. The Chipotle Crema can be refrigerated in a separate container for up to a week. Leftover tortillas are best refrigerated in their original packaging or a ziplock bag for up to a week. Keep any unused fresh toppings in separate containers in the refrigerator, using them within 2 days for optimal freshness.
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How to Make Ground Pork Tacos
Begin by wrapping eight corn tortillas in foil and heating them in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. While the tortillas are warming, prepare the Chipotle Crema by combining Mexican crema or sour cream, lime juice and zest, chipotle chile powder, and kosher salt in a bowl; chill until serving.
In a skillet, sauté garlic in olive oil, then add ground pork, cooking until nearly done. Mix in orange juice, apple cider vinegar, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, and chipotle chile powder, cooking until the pork is fully cooked and the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Assemble the tacos with the pork, toppings of your choice, and a drizzle of Chipotle Crema. Serve with lime wedges.
Ground Pork Tacos
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice about 1/2 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
For the Pork
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or ancho chile powder (recipe note #1)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- shredded cabbage
- thinly sliced radishes
- finely diced white onion
- crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese) or cotija
- fresh cilantro leaves
- thinly sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño optional
- lime wedges for serving
For the Tortillas
- Preheat oven to 350°F. (recipe note #2)
- Wrap 2 stacks of 4 tortillas separately in foil. Heat in oven 10 to 15 minutes until soft and warm.8 corn tortillas
For the Chipotle Crema
- In a medium bowl combine: Mexican crema (or sour cream), lime juice and zest, chipotle chile powder, and kosher salt; stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.1/2 cup Mexican crema, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Pork
- While tortillas warm, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground pork and increase heat to medium-high; cook and stir, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned and nearly cooked through. (If needed, drain excess fat.) Add orange juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin and chipotle chile powder; stir to combine and bring to boil. Cook and stir 3-5 minutes more until meat is cooked through and liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1 pound ground pork, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Assemble Tacos
- Divide pork mixture and desired toppings evenly among warm tortillas. Drizzle each taco with Chipotle Crema and garnish with cilantro leaves and jalapeño slices if desired. Serve with fresh lime wedges.
- Chipotle chile powder is a smoky spice made with only smoked and dried chipotle peppers, not a standard chili powder that is a blend of spices.
- Warming tortillas in the oven is easy and great for feeding several people at once, but you can also lightly fry tortillas in oil if you prefer a crunchy taco.
- Note that topping amounts are ‘to taste’ and are not included in nutrition information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.