I love Tacos al pastor but have never made them myself. They are a popular street food here in SoCal and Mexico and I finally decided to try my hand at making some. Forgive me as this is a long one.
I started out by thawing a Pork Butt I had in the freezer that I had purchased on sale for $.99 a lb. (7.93 lbs.)
I unwrapped it and found there was still some ice crystals on it. (which is what I was hoping for to make cutting it easier)
I cut it in half and deboned the other half.
I proceeded to cut it all up into approximately 3/8” slices.
I placed this into a large container, covered it and placed it into the fridge. I now gathered up the ingredients for the al pastor marinade.
Here’s the recipe I used. (It’s a combination of several recipes I watched on YouTube) Not shown in the picture are the pineapple juice and the vinegar.
8 lb bone-in pork shoulder (deboned)
4 tablespoons achiote paste (I used 1 – 3.5 oz. brick)
2 guajillo peppers (seeded and re-hydrated)
2 ancho peppers (seeded and re-hydrated)
3 Chipotle peppers + all the adobo sauce from 1 - 7 oz. can
5 garlic cloves
¼ small white or yellow onion
1 oz. Piloncillo (substitute brown sugar if you can find it)
1 tbsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon (preferably Mexican)
1 tsp, cloves
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup OO
¼ cup of the water from re-hydrating the peppers
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup lime juice
1 pineapple, skinned and sliced into 1-inch (2 cm) rounds (for the spit/trompo)
(Note: I only had some small guajillo chiles so I used 6 of them)
Everybody went into the pool for a spin.
I poured some marinade into the bottom of a very large bowl and then some pork slices.
I repeated this process until all the pork was in the bowl and pour the rest of the marinade over the top. I then stirred it until everything had a nice coating.
Now how will I cook this? Tacos al pastor is a dish developed in central Mexico that is based on shawarma spit grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants. It is traditionally cooked on a vertical spit known as a trompo. I don’t have such an exotic grill, so I had to improvise. I had found this indoor grill plate at a local thrift store for $2.17
and used it to create a vertical spit.
I now peeled and sliced up the pineapple
And started my vertical trompo stack adding a slice of pineapple and red onion after every 6 or 7 layers of meat.
I place the stack in the center of my weber redhead with coals all around it.
I then setup my craving station.
Here it is after approximately 30 minutes.
After approximately 75 minutes I removed the trompo and craved off the outer charred layer. (The char is an important part of the taste profile)
I then placed the trompo back in the redhead to char the outside again.
I then repeated the process another 3 times.
After I had trimmed off the outside 3 times I set up my taco cart errrr bar
and started to assemble my street taco plate.
Here it is served up with a Modelo Especial.
This was a little on the spicy side but oh so delicious!
I’ve made these numerous times and I’ve posted the recipes as well so I’m only posting a few pics of this cook. See Links:
Enchiladas / Sauce:
Started out making the sauce.
Roasting the veggies and cooking the chicken.
Once everything was done I mixed the chicken with some slivered onion and some cheese. I rolled / wrapped up a dozen enchiladas. I covered them with more sauce and some cheese and baked them on the kamado for 25 minutes.
I plated some up with some fresh made Mexican rice, Frijoles’, some radish and a Modelo Negra.
Made these gorgeous pork belly tacos tonight and would love to share how I did them. I was going for some Mexican and Asian flavors, and couldn't have been happier with the result. The only issue at all was a light spot on the pork due to liquid pooling there during the cook because the belly was a bit big for my standard Joe and I had to scrunch it a little.
1. I brined it for about 14 hours in a mix of pineapple juice, teriyaki, and soy sauce after scoring the fat sight relatively deeply
2. Dried the belly and rubbed it with Killer Hogs BBQ Rub on all sides
3. Smoked on Kamado Joe at 240 with some cherry wood to add a light fruity smoke favor (no wrapping because I wanted some meaty bite in the taco)
4. When I had internals around 185, I glazed the belly and cooked for another 20ish minutes
5. Broiled the belly inside for 2 minutes to tighten up the glaze and crisp the fat even more
6. Rested the meat for about 40 minutes (should have gone longer but people were too hungry :D )
1. Mix together raw honey, soy sauce, salt, worcestershire sauce, peach preservers (wanted pineapple to go with the brine but couldn't find it), apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper, hot bone sucking bbq sauce, and some secret super hot scotch bonnet hot sauce I bought in Anguilla. All of this is unmeasured and I mixed to taste.
2. Simmer on the stove until the mixture reduces a bit and thickens up, allow to cool off the heat
1. Home made guacamole (avocado, lots of lime, onion, kosher salt, pepper, cilantro)
2. Home made Chipotle Crema (sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, adobo sauce, kosher salt)
3. Grilled pineapple on the same grates I cooked the pork on
4. Cojita Cheese
6. Home made pickled onions (red onion, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, sugar, water)
Please enjoy the pictures, and as usual, ask any questions!