Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taco Tuesday

Every now and then I wish the boyfriend would quit art and become my personal taquero. Then, I remember that he's way too talented and that he can't cook. Instead, this recipe for "Tacos Al Pastor" is my solution for those days when I regret not having answered the cat calls from the taco cart guy.

Al Pastor is a pineapple-chile marinated pork that is usually slow-cooked on a spit (sort of like shawarma). This recipe is a version for those of us who don't have one of them fancy spits or a taquero boyfriend.

Tacos Al Pastor
Serves 6-8


1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup guajillo chile powder
3 garlic cloves, halved
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 chipotle chiles and 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
8 1/4-inch slices of boneless pork chops
1 cup of white onions, chopped
1 tsp paprika (smokey)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Corn tortillas
Avocado, sliced
Lime wedges


Place chopped onion and pineapple in blender. Add orange juice, vinegar, chile powder, garlic cloves, salt, oregano, cumin, chipotles, and puree marinade until smooth. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag. Add marinade and seal bag, releasing excess air. Turn to coat. Let marinade in fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Grill pork (do not clean off excess marinade) until slightly charred and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer pork to cutting board and let rest for about 10 minutes. Chop into small cubes.

Clean off skillet and place over medium-low heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and add ½ of the chopped onion. Cook until transparent and add the pork. Sprinkle paprika over pork and sautee for 5 minutes. This is the part when I like to taste the pork and see if it needs any seasoning. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Meanwhile, add the remaining chopped onion and cilantro in a medium bowl, toss to combine.

Warm and grease a griddle with a bit of oil. Warm tortillas until slightly golden, about 20 seconds per side. In Mexico, they grease the griddle with lard, so if you're feeling adventurous, do that. It's so worth it.
Serve with onion-cilantro mixture, salsa, avocado, and lime wedges.

Give lots of taco-flavored kisses to your loved ones!


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