Friday, August 26, 2011

Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Cilantro

Before I left for my trip to Europe a few weeks ago, I was in a frenzy to clear out the refrigerator so as to not let anything spoil while we were gone. I had an extra pork tenderloin hanging around, and rather than do my usual wrap in bacon and put it on the grill, I decided to be a little more creative this time. I saw that I had corn tortillas and cilantro in the fridge, so that got me thinking: tacos!

Well, I'm here to say that these are by far the best tacos I've ever eaten - and they were created on a whim. Since my cooking style lately has been more about instinct and less about following recipes, I would normally tell you to go ahead and add in or leave out whatever your heart desires, but for this recipe, each component added something important to the dish. The pork tenderloin obviously gives it the nice meaty chew, the black beans have a nice, soft mouth feel, and then the red onions and cilantro help cut some of the heaviness from the meat and beans.

Then there's the tortilla. I highly recommend you buy a high quality, stone ground tortilla because it will take these tacos from pretty good to the best darn tacos you've ever had. Because I like to support local businesses, I bought a bag of corn tortillas from the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory and now I will never buy tortillas anywhere else again. I went to Whole Foods the other day and they were out. To say I was sad was an understatement.

Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Cilantro
Feel free to experiment with measurements (these are all approximate anyway since I never measure anything) but I strongly suggest not to leave anything out.

1 small pork tenderloin, cut into small cubes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup beer or chicken stock
15 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 small red onion, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Stone ground corn tortillas
Lime wedges (optional)

Salt and pepper the pork tenderloin. Combine garlic powder, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. Dust over the meat until all of it is covered. Add olive oil to saute pan and turn stove on to medium-high. Add meat once the skillet is hot. Brown the meat on all sides then deglaze the pan with the beer or chicken stock. Once all the bits are brought up from the bottom of the pan, add the black beans and let cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave. When the meat and bean mixture is finished, add a small amount to each tortilla, then top with the red and green onions and cilantro. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice if desired.

Serve with rice or, my personal favorite: quinoa

Best impromptu recipe ever!


  1. I agree that tortillas vary hugely in quality! Our Whole Foods carries local tortillas also, which is very wonderful of them!

  2. Okay I am now seriously in need of a taco. I now what I'm going buy at next week's farmers market: grass-fed, organic pork tenderloin and cilantro. These sound wonderful.

  3. Quinoa is also my personal favorite :)
    I particularly like the red variety.

  4. I love tacos and don't normally make them with pork and black beans. I'm going to give these a try. You are so right about tortillas. It makes a big difference.

  5. I recently bought a tortilla press but haven't gotten any masa haring yet to make my own. It is really hard to find good ones in the stores without preservatives.

  6. Very true Nan. The ones I bought from the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory have like three ingredients. I was amazed.

  7. I love tacos and burritos! I don't know about adding the beer though. We never liked anything I've made with beer before.
    Here's My Recipe