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 had a bunch of fries’ leftover from eating at a local burger place that I had saved so I decided to make a popular burrito here in San Diego. It is known as a California Burrito and typically has Carne Asada, French Fries, Frijoles, Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, and Mexican Creama. (A 7-layer burrito if you want) Any way I started out making everything and was taking plenty of pics with my phone camera but somewhere in the middle of my cook I somehow (and I have no idea how) set my phone back to “Default” mode. Anyway, I don’t have access to those pics as of now and may never have access to them as they may end up being erased. So, I whipped out my Canon 70S and took the following pics at the end of the cook. I had purchased some Carne Asada and flour tortillas from the Mercado. I made up a bowl of Pico, A bowl of guacamole and some Mexican Rice. (No Pics) I then grilled up the Carne Asada. Here it is on the grill.
I brought this in and diced it up into small squares.
I then started to assemble the burrito. Started out with a nice layer of Mexican Cheese. Then the Carne Asada, Fries and some Pinquito beans.
Then some Pico de Gallo, guacamole and some Mexican Creama.
I rolled it up and placed it on the grill.
Here it is done and ready to cut.
And here are the plated shots with some spicy carrots, Mexican rice and a Modelo Negra.