Tacos al Pastor
If you have read just a few of my blogs, you already know my affinity for the swine. Well recently I came across a great blog called No Recipes that has a very inventive and delicious looking take on a Mexican classic, Tacos al Pastor. So as I sit here watching No Reservations, I thought I would share my take on this no recipe.
I got started with the marinade. It utilizes fresh pineapple to tenderize and sweeten the pork butt.
Take about a cup of the pineapple, a sweet onion, garlic, a couple of chipotles in adobo, some cinnamon, oregano, salt, pepper, vinegar, and paprika and put in a bowl. To that add in a couple ancho chiles and a couple New Mexico red chiles that have been rehydrated in water with a bay leaf.
Pull out the bay leaf and add the peppers to the other goodies. I hit with an immersion blender until fairly smooth.
I accidentally bought a bone in pork butt. So I boned it and then tossed in the freezer. After about 45 minutes it becomes a lot easier to slice. I sliced from the fat cap down in slices about 1/2 inch thick. Well as close to that as possible. Now take those pieces and slather each and everyone with some of the marinade. Then restack and tie together like a normal roast. The blog linked above suggests not slicing all the way through the roast but this works too.
Tie it up nice and tight so the thing will stay together. Let marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
While that was sitting, I got to work on the salsa verde. On a grill or in your broiler, char up a sweet onion, some pasilla, jalapeno, and tomatillos.
Almost forgot the garlic. I put about 5 cloves in some foil and roasted those too. When everything cools off enough to handle, scrape off the worst of the char but not all. Then add in some lime juice and a handful of cilantro before buzzing with the immersion blender.
Lets put the pork on the grill. I use indirect heat on high at first. After 30 minutes I turn the grill down to medium and top the pork with some more of that delicious fresh pineapple.
I let this go for about 3 1/2 hours at something like 325F. Basically just let it slowly roast until internal temp reaches 160F.
I also went for making tortillas from scratch. 2 cups masa harina, some salt, and about 1 1/4 cup of warm water. Kneed by hand until it all comes nicely together. Then wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for an hour.
Divide in into 16 equal pieces. Roll into balls and then individually roll out between two pieces of plastic. Or you could use a tortilla press.
Carefully seperate them from the plastic and dry fry in a cast iron skillet for about the time it takes to roll out another one. Flip once and then put them in a dish covered by a towel while you finish the rest.
When your roast is done, pull it off the grill, cover with foil, and allow to rest.
Then pull off some chunks and cut up into smaller chunks. Reheat some tortillas just until they start getting a little color. Top with the pork, some sweet onion, fresh cilantro, and some of that amazing salsa verde.
These are some truly amazing tacos. Very balanced with fresh, smoky, sweet, and a spicy finish that really hit the spot. Be sure to check out No Recipes because this isn’t the only great meal over there.