These tacos are revolutionary!

Okay – maybe these tacos aren’t revolutionary per se. But they are damn good.

First, happy St. Patrick’s Day! I could have tried to make corned venison. But you know what I did instead? Ate tacos with a green napkin. See that? Festive.

Moving on…

I realized one day that for as often as I eat tacos, I don’t usually make them at home. Such is the struggle of a Texas resident. So many taco places, so little time. I decided to rectify that with some homemade fancy tacos.

Do you want to know the secret to making restaurant quality tacos at home? The secret is in the sauce. Fancy tacos always have a secret sauce. This ancho sauce could also be called awesome sauce, and it’s simple to make. Since this was a two-step recipe, three if you count the quick pickled onions, I decided to make the meat simple as well. I love how the ancho sauce goes with the hint of orange in the meat. I used wild hog, but you could use ground venison (or pork, beef or chicken) just as well.

Also, don’t skimp on the garnishes, so they look pretty.

You will have ample sauce leftover after the tacos. This is intentional. The ancho sauce is simply scrumptious drizzled on just about anything and everything. Like eggs. Or chicken. Even salad. And you know what? It also goes amazingly well in a mushroom risotto. See? So fancy, it’s practically revolutionary.

Ancho Pork Tacos with quick pickled onions
For the Ancho Sauce
  • 6 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the Tacos
  • 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground wild hog
  • 1/2 orange, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • tortillas for serving
  • chopped fresh cilantro for serving
  • crumbled queso fresco for serving
Ancho Sauce
  1. Cover the dried chilis with water and boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Pull them out and de-stem and de-seed them. Put them in a blender with the other ingredients and about 1/2 cup of the boiling water. Blend until smooth. The sauce should be thin enough to drizzle, like a pancake batter, so add a little more water if necessary to reach the right consistency.

  1. First, cover the onions with the vinegar, add the sugar and set aside until you're ready to build the tacos. 

  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, meat, spices and orange zest and cook until the meat is browned and cooked all the way through and some of the moisture has boiled off (about 7-10 minutes). Once finished, take off the heat and add the orange juice.

  3. Assemble the tacos with the meat, onions, cilantro, ancho sauce and cheese. Enjoy!

Posted in Venison
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