Pork Ragu Two Ways

On Saturday night I made this pork ragu, a weekend favorite, with a few tweaks and served it over pappardelle.  It’s always so great, but I used an unusually large pork loin, so we had LOTS of leftovers.  (My tweaks are:  crushed red pepper instead of hot sauce, about 50% more wine, a few ounces of tomato paste and more thyme than called for.

Last night we used the leftover pork for tacos.  This pork is so versatile, I honestly don’t know if it tasted better over pasta or in tacos.  The flavors are perfect for both.

For the tacos, I used these new tortillas that you cook as you need them in a cast iron skillet:

They puff up and get a little crispy on the outside and make a standard taco or fajita dinner taste so much better.  Those pockets of air release steam, so definitely don’t be a dummy and try to flip them without tongs like I did.

I also made Rick Bayless’s “Classic Mexican “Pot” Beans” from his book, Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen, which were so great.  No pre-soaking required, they cook for two hours and they come out with the perfect texture and seasoning.  I love Rick Bayless; how could you not love someone so enthusiastic about Mexican food?

These beans are so simple:  one pound of black beans, 3 Tbsp of fat (either vegetable oil or bacon fat) and a diced onion, brought to a boil and simmered for two hours.  While we ate last night, I told my husband that I plan to make a pot of these beans every weekend and then use them throughout the week.

I served the beans in bowls with cilantro and Greek yogurt (a perfect stand in for sour cream) alongside our pork tacos.  The tacos had cilantro, avocado, jalapeños, and more yogurt.

I also made a batch of Bon Appétit’s Agave Margaritas, of which there are NO leftovers.

I’m trying to talk my daughter into taking pork and beans for snack time at preschool today.  I bet that’s what Rick Bayless would send in with his four-year old.

– Catherine

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