Taco Tuesday Series #1
CUBAN MOJO TURKEY LEG TACOS!!!
Turkey legs. It’s arguable more turkey legs get left in the field each year more than any other meat. Notoriously tough and lacking substantial meat, many hunters breast their bird, and turn the legs into bait of some sort. If I see you throw turkey legs out, someone’s getting verbally shamed. DO NOT THROW TURKEY LEGS OUT!!!! Not only should it be considered waste, turkey legs and thighs have a lot of meat on them, delicious, shred-able meat that is perfect for tacos or sandos. Most people have a crock-pot, insta-pot, or some form of slow cooker which is perfect for braising or slow roasting those legs.
My folks live in Key west 80% of the year, and in the Keys, Cuban food reigns supreme. Visit any local Cuban establishment and you will see “Mojo” on the menu. Garlic, Citrus, and fresh oregano make this marinade perfect for anything that needs a good burst of flavor – perfect for a Caribbean twist on taco night.
The sauce is super easy to make, and can be stored in the fridge for a week or so. I like to make it the night before and let the flavors develop overnight before using it. This sauce is traditionally made with sour oranges, but since they can be hard to find, we use a lime juice orange juice combo to make due. We like to smoke the legs for 45 minutes or so, sear them, then slow cook them in the marinade. It pulls apart with ease so you can remove all the little bones and tendons before serving. Limed’ cabbage, cotija cheese, cilantro, and home-made avocado crema take these tacos to the next level.
- Half cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- zest from one orange (from above)
- Half cup fresh lime juice
- zest from one lime
- Half cup olive oil
- 9 cloves garlic
- half of one small shallot, minced (~1 heaping Tbsp)
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 1-2 Tbsp cumin
- 1-2 Tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp honey or more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Smash the garlic into a paste with a mortar and pestle, or grind in a food processor/mince pretty fine. I put all the ingredients into a mason jar with a lid and shake the hell out of it and let it sit int he fridge for a few hours minimum. over-night is best.
salt and pepper the turkey legs and thighs liberally. Smoke at 225 degrees for around 45 minutes just to give them some flavor and a bit of color. remove and set aside. Sear the legs and thighs in a cast iron skillet to get a nice crust formed before you put them in the slow cooker. Put in your crock pot and cover with the marinade, maybe a good splash of your mexican beer you’re drinking (totally optional). Cook on low for 6-8 hours until falling off the bone.
- Mexican Crema
- mix 1 cup ROOM TEMP heavy cream and 1.5 tablespoons room temp buttermilk and pour into a mason jar – cover tightly with cheese cloth (or paper towel and rubber band). Let sit at room temp for 8-10 hours to thicken and then cover and refrigerate for 8 hours before using to thicken more. Add large pinch of salt and juice of 1-2 limes to jar and mix thoroughly before use. Stores in fridge for a week.
- Mix 3/4 cup Mexican Crema, 2 ripe avocados, a dash of cayenne, and a bit of cilantro and lime juice of 1 large or two small limes in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. should be a bit thinner than standard sour cream.
- 1/2 head purple cabbage shredded medium-fine.
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 TBSP honey or sugar
- 2 TBSP chopped cilantro
- Mix lime juice and honey/sugar together to dissolve and toss cabbage thoroughly with mixture. Salt and pepper to taste, add cilantro, cover and let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Toast your tortilla of choice – we really like making our own cassava flour tortillas or by the Siete brand cassava flour tortillas, they taste like a mix of corn and flour. Pile up some of your shredded turkey, cotija cheese, the cabbage, more cilantro, lime juice, and finish with your avocado crema and some https://elfuegosauce.com/ hot sauce for some turkey tacos that will make you never leave a leg in the field again!