Making the components to assemble these tacos is a bit of a process, but totally worth it. Loaded with healthy broccoli rabe, quick pickled red onions, savory porchetta and a spicy chipotle mayo, these are some of the best tacos we've ever tasted. Double the recipe and invite your friends over for an over-the-top taco party!
PREP TIME: 2 hours 0 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hours 30 minutes
For the porchetta spice rub:
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
2 Teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
5 garlic cloves, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the porchetta:
1 1/2 pound center-cut boneless pork shoulder
For the pickled red onions:
1/2 large red onion, cut in 1/8” rounds, then separated into rings
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, halved
For the chipotle mayonnaise:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from can of chipotle peppers)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, blanched
6 to 8 small flour tortillas
Chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges
Make the porchetta spice rub: Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a small food processor, mortar and pestle, or spice/coffee grinder. Add the olive oil and process until you have a paste. Set aside.
Make the prochetta: Using a sharp knife and cutting from the long side, cut underneath the fat cap, between the fat and the meat almost, but not all the way across to the other side. Once cut, fold it back out of the way. Cut down the centre of the pork, lengthwise, almost but not all the way through. Fold it open like a book. Repeat this cut with the two pieces you just cut.
Press to lay flat out a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and using a mallet or heavy skillet, pound down to flatten a bit. Remove plastic.
Rub 1/2 of the spice rub on top of the pork. Starting from the end without the fat, start rolling up the pork and when you get to the fat cap, fold it over the top. Rub the outside of the pork with the remaining spice rub. Secure the pork with cooking twine every 2”. Refrigerate uncovered at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
To cook the porchetta: Preheat oven to 475°F. Place porchetta fat side up in a shallow baking pan and place into preheated oven. Cook for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F. and cook until thermometer registers about 135°F in the thickest part, about 75-90 minutes (for 1 1/2 lb roast). Allow to rest at least 20 minutes, then remove the string, slice and then roughly chop. Place in a bowl and toss with some of the pan drippings. Proceed to make tacos immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to several days.
Make the pickled red onions: Boil a kettle of water. Pour boiling water over onion rings in a large bowl until covered. Let stand 2 min, then drain.
In a medium saucepan on the stovetop, boil the vinegar with the sugar, salt, and garlic until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and add onion rings. Push onion down into liquid so it is mostly covered and let stand for at least 30 min. To store longer, cover and refrigerate. Can be refrigerated up to 1 week.
Make the chipotle mayonnaise: Combine the mayonnaise and adobo sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
Blanch the broccoli rabe: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare broccoli rabe by removing the bottom couple of inches of the stems.
Place broccoli rabe into boiling water and allow to cook 1-2 minutes. Remove to a colander and rinse briefly under cold water to stop the cooking, then set aside to drain.
Before using, blot dry between paper towel and re-warm, if desired. Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Use at room temperature or slightly re-warmed.
To assemble the tacos: Place 3 stalks of blanched broccoli rabe in the centre of the tortilla. Top with chopped porchetta. Sprinkle with some of the pickled red onion and scatter some chopped cilantro/parsley on top. Top with a dollop of chipotle mayo and serve with a lime wedge, for drizzling.