Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos With Brown Sauce Salsa, Slaw & Pickled Onions
Bacon and brown sauce are the best of friends, and unsurprisingly so considering the sauce’s key ingredients which generally work so well with pork. Although sales have reportedly dwindled over the past few years, brown sauce has been popular for decades, with the leading brand, HP sauce, created by Nottingham grocer Frederick Gibson Garton in 1895. Having heard the restaurants in the Houses of Parliament had begun serving it, Garton named the sauce HP and sold the recipe to Edwin Samson Moore for £150 (which would amount to around £20,000 today, considering inflation).
Featuring a blend of spices, vinegar, and fruits such as apple, dates, and tomato, brown sauce’s decline in popularity may be due to most modern meals being flavourful enough to make condiments redundant, though HP sauce remains a useful store cupboard ingredient, particularly for dishes such as Shepherd’s Pie or corned beef hash. The sauce’s elements of fruit, spice, and acidity are also lent well to salsa. So, inspired by my second favourite condiment (after hot sauce), this brown sauce salsa recipe takes some of the sauce’s base ingredients and reworks them, with the addition of chilli and plenty of lime juice to bring that trademark acidity.
The brown sauce salsa also works especially well with slow-cooked pork tacos. This particular recipe features shoulder of pork that’s marinated overnight with hot sauce, orange juice, and lime juice; cooked slowly and accompanied by quick pickled red onions and a simple slaw made with thinly-sliced red cabbage, carrot, spring onion, and mayonnaise spiked with hot sauce. As for the tacos, there’s nothing quite like a homemade corn taco, but flour tortillas also work fine if need be.
While the recipe has various processes and takes a while to cook, most of the cooking and marinating time is inactive, and the overall dish is worth every second. The recipe also yields a good amount of leftover pork, which is delicious in quesadillas, sandwiches, or just on its own with a dollop of brown sauce salsa.
Slow-cooked pork tacos with slaw and pickled red onions recipe
- 12-16 corn tortillas
- 2 kg rindless shoulder of pork cut into 12 pieces
- 1 red onion roughly chopped
For the marinade
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 4 tbsp hot sauce I like a mixture of Cholula, Habanero, and Ancho chilli
- 4 tbsp tomato purée
- 3 oranges juiced
- 3 limes juiced
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
For the slaw
- ½ red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot grated
- 3 spring onions finely sliced
- Handful fresh coriander to taste
- Mayonnaise to taste, approx. 250ml
- Hot sauce to taste, approx. 50ml
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
For the pickled onions
- 2 red onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Prepare the pork and roughly chop one red onion, then add to a large, non-reactive bowl with all of the marinade ingredients. Mix and place in the fridge to marinade overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
- Heat oven to 160C/Gas 3 and transfer the pork and marinade to a casserole dish. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 4 hours, until the pork is tender but isn’t too giving. Break up with kitchen tongs and move to a serving bowl.
- While the pork is cooking, make the slaw by adding the red cabbage, grated carrot, sliced spring onions, and chopped coriander to a large mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and mix.
- Mix the mayonnaise with enough hot sauce to produce a liquid with a similar colour to Marie Rose sauce. Mix with the other slaw ingredients and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- At this point, make the brown sauce salsa (recipe below).
- To make the pickled onions, put the sliced red onions in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiled water and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Drain, then stir in the vinegar and caster sugar. Stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Warm the tacos in a frying pan and serve with the pork, slaw, pickled onions, brown sauce salsa, and plenty of napkins.
Brown Sauce Salsa Recipe
- 400 g tomatoes de-seeded and finely chopped
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 70 g dates finely chopped
- 1 Granny Smith apple cored and finely chopped
- 1 green chilli de-seeded and finely chopped
- 8 sprigs fresh coriander leaves and stalks finely chopped
- 3 limes juiced
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp paprika
- 30 g dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp treacle
- A splash chilli vinegar or malt vinegar
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp Worcester sauce
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- Add the juice of three limes to a mixing bowl with 200g chopped tomatoes, ½ chopped onion, 35g chopped dates, ½ chopped apple, chopped green chilli, and coriander. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, add a splash of oil and fry the remaining tomato, onion, dates and apple for five minutes until lightly caramelised.
- Add the cinnamon, paprika, sugar, treacle, vinegar, tamarind paste, Worcester sauce, and mustard powder, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for one hour, stirring often.
- Once cooked, drain and reserve the liquid. Allow to cool, then slowly stir into the raw tomato, onion, date, apple, and chilli mixture. Season with a good pinch of salt, taste for seasoning. Add a little more vinegar or salt before serving, if necessary
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