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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.)

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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)

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I cut it in half and deboned the other half.

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I proceeded to cut it all up into approximately 3/8” slices.

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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.

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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.

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I poured some marinade into the bottom of a very large bowl and then some pork slices.

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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.

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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

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and used it to create a vertical spit.

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I now peeled and sliced up the pineapple

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And started my vertical trompo stack adding a slice of pineapple and red onion after every 6 or 7 layers of meat.

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I place the stack in the center of my weber redhead with coals all around it.

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I then setup my craving station.

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Here it is after approximately 30 minutes.

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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)

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I then placed the trompo back in the redhead to char the outside again.

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So pretty!

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I then repeated the process another 3 times.

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After I had trimmed off the outside 3 times I set up my taco cart errrr bar

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and started to assemble my street taco plate.

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Oh Yum!

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Here it is served up with a Modelo Especial.

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This was a little on the spicy side but oh so delicious!         

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Thanks for looking.

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4 hours ago, DerHusker said:

 

 

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and used it to create a vertical spit.

 

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I now peeled and sliced up the pineapple

 

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And started my vertical trompo stack adding a slice of pineapple and red onion after every 6 or 7 layers of meat.

 

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I place the stack in the center of my weber redhead with coals all around it.

 

 

 

Do you think this could be reproduced on a horizontal spit (think spit roast Chicken) or after the marinade is the meat too tender? 

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13 hours ago, &roid said:

Wow that looks amazing, I’ve got to try that!

 

what sort of temp was your Weber running at during the cook? Did you add any wood for extra smoke?

Thank you &riod. 

 

I started it out slow, like at 250. I slowly ramped up the temp to mostly 350 but it once got as high as 415 and hear the end was down to 300. I didn't put any wood on the coals as a Mexican Taquero using a real trompo doesn't have any smoke. Just using the charcoal briquettes was cheating enough.

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Fascinating. I made tacos al pastor once but did it fajitas-style because of the lack of a vertical rotisserie. It came out great, but I'd like to do them better. @DerHusker, I did some searching online. It looks like you're using a Korean BBQ grill plate like this one. I take it you then drilled a hole in it and attached a spike through it for cooking? Did you ever rotate it through the cook? What temperature were you cooking at on the Weber?

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On 5/20/2019 at 3:17 AM, ndg_2000 said:

Do you think this could be reproduced on a horizontal spit (think spit roast Chicken) or after the marinade is the meat too tender? 

Yes you can go the horizontal route. The problem going horizontal route are you need to press it together tight to hold the meat in. This pressing together pushed out much of the marinade. then as it turns and heats up the juices also will leak out more than a vertical spit might. 

 

Regarding my spit: the juices still leak out but definitely not as much as a horizontal spit might.

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