Have a Fiesta with Pork Flank Fajitas from Porter Road


Pork



Though oft repeated, the advice, “Make friends with your local butcher,” might be difficult, if not impossible, to follow.

Realistically, how many among us have a “local butcher” in their list of iPhone contacts? The answer is…very few…unless you live in a mega-metropolitan area or its opposite, a very rural area. Most Americans are condemned to shopping for meats at supermarket chains, where only commodity-style beef, pork, and poultry are sold, or so-called big box stores.

Where are the affable white-coated butchers of our youth, who not only knew their way around animal muscles (not to mention your parents’ names), but could steer you towards the best buys of the day, tell you where the cuts are from, and best of all—explain the best ways to cook your purchases? They are an endangered species, almost extinct.

Which is why the meat lovers among us must adapt. As an active recipe tester for many years for barbecue master Steven Raichlen, I have taken to buying premium meats online from some of the country’s most well-regarded artisanal purveyors. One of my favorites is Porter Road.

Former caterers who struggled to find high-quality meats for their clients, James Peisker and Chris Carter founded Porter Road in 2010. Porter Road works with farms in Kentucky and Tennessee that share the duo’s high standards. They regularly visit the farms to ensure the animals are raised outside, fed vegetarian feed, and given nurturing attention at every stage. All their meats are hand-cut in their facility in Kentucky. They took Porter Road online in 2017 to make premium meats accessible to carnivorous connoisseurs nationwide. They are very respectful of the animal, utilizing everything from head to tail. If you have questions or need a special cut, they are incredibly responsive.

Porter Road recently sent me a magnificent trio of pork cuts, including pork flank, bavette, and short ribs.

The pork flank I received was pasture-raised and generously marbled. My mind went immediately to fajitas.

Pork Flank - Pork Fajitas

Pork Fajitas

I began by making a zesty Southwestern-style marinade, which consisted of lime juice, water, olive oil, smashed garlic cloves, soy sauce, sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. I placed two pork flanks in a plastic bag and poured the marinade over them. I let the pork flanks marinate in the refrigerator for four hours.

I then set-up a two-zone fire in a kettle grill: a direct zone for searing the pork and a cool zone in case of flare-ups.

Pork Fajitas

To accompany the pork flank I grilled thinly sliced onion and pepper that were seasoned with homemade fajita seasoning. I made fresh guacamole and had Mexican cheese at the ready to top the fajitas.

Grilling the Veggies

I grilled the pork flanks for ninety seconds, then I gave them a quarter turn and grilled for another ninety seconds. I flipped the pork flanks and repeated the process. While the pork flanks rested, I grilled tortillas for the fajitas, then placing them in a tortilla pouch to keep them warm.

Grilling the Pork Fajitas

Be sure to slice the pork flank against the grain of the meat to maximize tenderness, holding your knife at a diagonal to the cutting board.

To build the fajitas, I placed the pork in the grilled tortilla, and topped with the grilled onions and peppers, the guacamole, and the cheese. Feel free to spice up the fajita with hot sauce, or add salsa or sour cream.

The pork flank was tender, smoky, juicy, and a little spicy from the marinade. The guacamole was a great complement to the meat, as were the charred onions and peppers. (Next time, I’ll use this terrific cut to make tacos al pastor.)

Family and friends were very impressed with the pork flank, noting “this is how pork used to taste.” I can’t wait to grill the other pork cuts Porter Road sent. Stay tuned! In the meantime, buy yours here.


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