PREPARATION TIME 1 hour 10 minutes
COOKING TIME 40 minutes
OVEN: Preheat to 160ºC (325ºF, gas mark 3)
For the filling:
4oz (115g) dried mixed beans, soaked in cold water overnight.
1 small hock or knuckle end of pork, about 1 ½ lb (680g) including the bone, skin and fat removed.
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1 small onion, peeled and chopped.
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed.
½ medium green pepper, de-seeded and chopped.
1 level teaspoon chili powder.
½ level teaspoon each ground coriander and ground cumin.
14oz (400g) tinned tomatoes.
4oz (115g) cos lettuce, washed and finely shredded.
3 spring onions, trimmed and cut into fine strips.
For the tacos:
8oz (225g) unbleached plain flour.
¼ pint (150ml) boiling water.
1 teaspoon sesame oil.
- Cook the beans, putting the pork in to cook with them.
- Meanwhile, make the tacos. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the boiling water and mix to a firm dough, then knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
- Knead the dough again and roll it out with a rolling pin on a floured surface until ¼ in (6mm) thick. Stamp out circles with a plain cutter 2 ½ in (65mm) in diameter, then knead and roll the trimmings and stamp out more circles. There should be 12 in all.
- Brush 6 circles with sesame oil and lay the remaining 6 circles on top of them. Roll out the sandwiched pairs on a floured surface until the circles are 6in (15cm in diameter.
- Cook the tacos one sandwiched pair at a time in an ungreased heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat. When the sandwich starts to puff with air bubbles, after about 1 minute, turn it over and cook for 1 minute more, or until the underside is freckled with small brown spots, Lift out the tacos and carefully peel apart the two layers. Lay the tacos in an ovenproof dish, put on the lid and set aside. Cook the other pairs in the same way.
- When the beans and pork are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and drain. Take the meat off the bone and cut it into shreds.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bases saucepan and fry the onion in it for 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the chili powder, coriander, cumin, tomatoes, beans and pork. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, then turn into a warmed serving dish.
- Fifteen minutes before the beans are ready, put the tacos to warm through in the heated oven. Pile the hot tacos on a warmed serving plate to rake to the table. Serve the beans, lettuce and spring onions in separate bowls for folding in the tacos at the table.
You can prepare the tacos and bean filling the day before, if more convenient. Store the tacos in a polythene bag in the refrigerator and allow 5 minutes longer for reheating in the oven. Store the filling, once cooled, in a covered dish in the refrigerator and, before serving, bring it to the boil quickly in a saucepan, then simmer it for 10 minutes.
A stack of fresh, warm Mexican pancakes, spicy beans and pork, crisp shreds of lettuce and strips of hot spring onions make a colourful contribution to a spread for entertaining guests or family at brunch.
The diners will enjoy the novelty of filling and folding their tacos at the table.
Tip: To fill and fold a taco, put a spoonful of filling in the centre, turn the bottom third of the taco over it, then turn in the two sides to overlap in the centre and make an open envelope shape.