These ancho pork and potato tacos are a cheater’s way to have tacos on the table in just 45 minutes by relying on spice-rubbed pork chops and tender potatoes wrapped in corn tortillas.
Short on time but long on taco craving? These ancho pork and potato tacos respond with little fuss and even less time. The inclusion of potatoes makes them cost-effectively more satiating than the average taco—and leftovers the next morning even more enticing when you plop a fried egg on top.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Ancho Pork and Potato Tacos
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound Yukon Gold or russet potatoes unpeeled, cut in 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 1 pound boneless pork loin chops trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 8 corn tortillas warmed
- In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Place the potatoes in a large bowl and the pork in another large bowl. Sprinkle half the spice mixture over the potatoes and the remaining half over the pork.
- In a 12-inch (30-cm) nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until shimmering. Reduce the heat to medium, add the potatoes, and then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir in the pork and garlic and then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is lightly browned and cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. It may be necessary to reduce the heat to medium-low to keep the garlic from browning.
- Season the pork and potatoes with salt and pepper and divvy them up among the tortillas along with any desired garnishes.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I am a taco freak so chile-spiced pork and potatoes is an irresistible combo. The first thing I did was make the Homemade Fire Roasted Salsa from the website. It’s quick and easy and soooo good—the perfect amount of heat with the chipotles. My husband agrees and this will be going on scrambled eggs for the rest of our existence. I ate three tacos and my husband had two and then he just had a bowl of the pork and potato with toppings. Guess what I’ll be having for breakfast!
The ancho and cumin blend for the pork and taters is inspired. I was a tad short on the ancho so I gave a few shakes of chipotle powder. The taters cooked up quickly and the pork took no time at all. I put the corn tortillas on a hot dry skillet for 10 seconds a side and that was plenty. My garnishes were the aforementioned salsa, sour cream, sliced scallions, grated cotija cheese, and, because I couldn’t find queso fresco, on a whim I grabbed some cottage cheese with chives. I know, that’s weird, but you have to try it. The best combo with the taco was the salsa and cottage cheese and some cotija on top.
The preparation and prep work went into this was really straightforward. The potato was perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside + the pork was fully cooked through after 10 minutes respectively.
Flavorwise, I think there need to be a bit more mmmph to make these tacos come alive in the way I originally anticipated when first reading this recipe. The potato had enough flavor, but the protein needs more salt and spices to avoid a bland taste. Also, while these tacos had some nice heat from the ancho chile and cumin, my boyfriend commented that they both became a bit of an afterthought. I’d add a bit more of both into round two testing.
I’d also recommend adding a squeeze of lime to the potato and pork. While you get really nice heat from the added ancho chile and cumin, the end result is lacking some acidity to make all these ingredients sing. My garnishes (lime crema, al pastor hot sauce, and radishes) added that necessary balance that I was missing out on, but they shouldn’t be the crutch that holds this dish up.
Other than that, there’s a lot of promise in these tacos! Once the flavor is amped up in certain areas, everyone’s going to want to make these every Taco Tuesday.
I had a bit of pork and potato left over from dinner, so I threw them on top of rice and put a fried egg over everything the next morning. I must say, this makes a perfect hangover breakfast.
These tacos were easy to get on the table. Most of the tacos I make involve braising meat for many hours. These were refreshingly quick and easy to make. If you want to get fresh, quality tacos that are a step above ground meat, give these a try.
I don’t have what would be traditionally known as a nonstick skillet. I have better than that, I have very well seasoned cast-iron skillets and I challenge anyone to show me a “nonstick” that works better. My potatoes were Yukon golds.
I served it with avocado chunks, cilantro sprigs, as well as a selection of salsas on the side with tortilla chips. Our favorite salsa at the moment is Trader Joe’s Pepita Salsa. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, give this a try. It has a nice underlying hint of heat.
Originally published October 13, 2020